The Chicago Jazz Ensemble Announces Staff Promotions

The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Jon Faddis, named Dana Hall as its Music Director and Darius Hampton as Education Director, it was announced by J. Richard Dunscomb, CJE Executive Director. In addition to their new roles, Hall will maintain his seat as drummer for the CJE and Hampton will continue as Music Librarian. "We are pleased to celebrate the expanded roles of these two exceptional jazz aficionados, " said Dunscomb. "Dana is as talented on the stage as he is behind-the-scenes and Darius' experience as our historian will lend a great deal to our education programs."

As Music Director, Hall will supervise musicians and concert production and work with Faddis as well as the Music Department Chair and Education Director on the band's vision. Hampton will develop a strategic plan for educational vision and materials and maintain regular contact with Chicago Public Schools, festivals and concerts with educational entities and projects.

Brooklyn-born drummer Dana Hall has been an important musician on the international music scene since 1992. After completing his education in aerospace engineering at Iowa State University, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from William Paterson College and his Masters degree in composition from DePaul University. He is presently a Special Trustees Fellow completing his Doctorate in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. He has performed and/or recorded with Branford Marsalis, Ray Charles, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Horace Silver, Michael Brecker, Frank Foster, Betty Carter, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Lester Bowie, Slide Hampton, James Moody, Joe Williams and Joe Henderson, among others. Hall is a member of the Terell Stafford Quintet and was a regular member of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band under the direction of Maestro Faddis.

"I have had the privilege of serving as a member of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble for over 15 years. It is indeed an honor to now be asked to serve as the organization's Music Director. My goals are to further develop the ensemble's commitment to musical excellence, to work in close partnership with Artistic Director Jon Faddis to select, program, and introduce to our audiences new music and works from both premier and overlooked arrangers and composers of classic and modern jazz, to advance an educational and community outreach program that both educates and inspires students and fans of all ages, and to continue to fulfill the vision of the CJE's founder, and my good friend and mentor William Russo, to establish the ensemble as one of the world's most significant music ensembles."

Chicago native, Darius Hampton, picked up the clarinet when he was 10, the saxophone when he was 12, and gained his passion for jazz music in high school. He completed his Bachelor of Music and will soon complete his Master of Music, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Darius is part of the great jazz tradition in the Hampton family that includes trombonist and arranger Slide Hampton, the more distantly related Lionel Hampton, current CJE trumpeter Pharez Whitted, and many others. Darius has written or arranged music for ensembles from the Whitney Young High School Orchestra, to Chicago's Gallery 37 American Jazz Band to the jazz ensembles of the University of Illinois. From 2001 to 2007, he studied music at the University of Illinois. There, he studied under saxophonists Chip McNeill, Ron Bridgewater and CJE drummer Dana Hall and was recognized among faculty and his peers as a fine arranger and composer.

The CJE celebrates the 10th American Heritage Jazz Series, which features four concerts at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance and one concert at Symphony Center as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Echoes of Nations: Dvořák Festival. The Harris Theater concerts feature Patti Austin and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble: Avant Gershwin on Friday, November 14, 2008; Paquito D'Rivera and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble: Commemorating Goodman, Celebrating Swing, Friday, December 12, 2008; The Great American Songbook featuring The Chicago Jazz Ensemble's Bobbi Wilsyn, Friday, February 20, 2009; The Art of the Composer: Music by William Russo and Frank Foster on Friday, March 20, 2009. All concerts are at 8 pm, with a pre-concert conversation with Faddis, Neil Tesser and artists beginning at 7:00 pm. On June 5, 2009, at 8 pm, the CJE takes the stage at Symphony Center for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Echoes of Nations: Dvořák Festival in a performance of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington: "Black, Brown and Beige" and "The New Orleans Suite."

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