Paquito D'Rivera Joins The Chicago Jazz Ensemble

Whenever multi-Grammy Award winner and NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera hits the stage, you can be sure you're hearing the best in Swing and Latin Jazz! Celebrate the holiday season when Jon Faddis and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble present the 10th American Heritage Jazz Series featuring Paquito D'Rivera and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble: Commemorating Goodman, Celebrating Swing & Latin Jazz, on Friday, December 12, 2008, at 8:00 pm at the Harris Theater, 205 East Randolph, Chicago. In addition, Faddis and music aficionado, writer and broadcaster Neil Tesser will present a pre-concert conversation about the evening's performance at 7:20 pm.

"Paquito and I first met on the bandstand when we both were sitting in with Dizzy Gillespie in the 1980s, " said Faddis. "We continued to work together with Diz and, of course, with Diz's United Nation Orchestra, for which we each served as music director over the years. I'm excited to once again share the stage with Paquito, who is a master of classical, jazz and Caribbean-infused music. He is tremendous fun and a great friend. With The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, these renditions of Benny Goodman's music will definitely shine."

Of Benny Goodman, Faddis says, "There is so much to commemorate with Goodman, not the least of which is the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert which marked the first time the bandstand was integrated. It was absolutely brave and remarkable – to prioritize artistry and to respect musicians, whatever their race, above whatever prejudice and social pressures exist. That's deeply admirable. Second, the concert represented the first real moment when jazz was presented at Carnegie Hall. Third, the night was a tremendous success, changing the way audiences both heard and saw jazz, and what can be achieved."

Faddis recorded with Benny Goodman in a big band session in New York in the 1970s; however, the recording has yet to be released. In 1992, he presented a concert honoring Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.

Born on the island of Cuba, Paquito D'Rivera began his career as a child prodigy. A restless musical genius during his teen years, he created various original and ground-breaking musical ensembles. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He eventually went on to premiere several works by notable Cuban composers with the same orchestra. Additionally, he was a founding member and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music never before heard, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe, won several Grammy nominations (1979, 1980) and took home a Grammy in 1979.

While D'Rivera's discography includes over 30 solo albums in jazz and Latin music, his contributions to classical music also are impressive. They include solo performances with the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. In addition to his extraordinary performing career as an instrumentalist, D'Rivera has rapidly gained a reputation as a dynamic composer. D'Rivera is artist-in-residence at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and serves as a member of the board of directors of many influential artistic organizations in the United States, impacting both classical and jazz musical idioms. He has served as Artistic Director of Jazz Programming at the New Jersey Chamber Music Society and continues as Artistic Director of the famous world-class Festival Internacional de Jazz de Punta Del Este in Uruguay. Additionally, he is Artistic Director of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, which celebrates Washington, DC's rich Jazz history and native son Duke Ellington. D'Rivera's book, My Sax Life, was published in Spain by the prestigious literary house, Seix Barral, and contains a prologue by Guillermo Cabrera Infante. Acclaimed by the public and critics alike, the English edition was released by Northwestern University Press in November 2005.

The Chicago Jazz Ensemble's 10th anniversary series also includes The Great American Songbook featuring The Chicago Jazz Ensemble's Bobbi Wilsyn, Friday, February 20, 2009, and The Art of the Composer: Music by William Russo and Frank Foster on Friday, March 20, 2009. On June 5, 2009, at 8 pm, The CJE – with MacArthur-Award winner Regina Carter as special guest on violin – takes the stage at Symphony Center for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Echoes of Nations: Dvořįk Festival in a performance of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington: "Black, Brown and Beige" and "The New Orleans Suite." In addition, The CJE travels to Carrollton, GA, for a performance at the Townsend Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, January 24, 2009, at 7:30 pm.

The Chicago Jazz EnsembleTM is: JON FADDIS, Artistic Director & trumpet; alto saxophones, DAN NICHOLSON and JARRARD HARRIS; tenor saxophones, PAT MALLINGER and ROB DENTY; baritone saxophone, BRIAN SJOERDINGA; trombones, AUDREY MORRISON, TIM COFFMAN, TRACY KIRK, and ANDY BAKER; trumpets, MARK OLEN, LARRY BOWEN, ART HOYLE and PHAREZ WHITTED; guitar, FRANK DAWSON; bass, DAN ANDERSON; Music Director & drums, DANA HALL; vocals, BOBBI WILSYN. For The CJE's December 12 concert, Tito Carrillo will be substituting for Larry Bowen on trumpet, and Ryan Cohan will be on piano.

The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is located at 205 East Randolph on the southeast corner of Chicago's Millennium Park. Tickets for this series are $15 - $45, with a 10% discount to senior citizens and students and a 20% discount to groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased at (312) 369-6600, (312) 334-7777 or Symphony Center is located at 220 South Michigan Avenue. For tickets and more information on The CJE's concert at Symphony Center, visit or call (312) 294-3000.

The CJE, in residence at Columbia College Chicago, is sponsored in part by Downbeat, Schilke Music Products, MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at Prince, Illinois Arts Council, The Chicago Community Trust, Polk Bros Foundation, Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, The Robert Pritzker Family Foundation, The Sara Lee Foundation and media sponsor WDCB/90.9 FM.

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