Left to right are: Curt Warren, Ruben Gutierrez and Billy Townes.
Throughout the week, the artists will give private and group lessons and clinics for SUNY Fredonia students. There are also several events that are open to the community. All events are free of charge.
Events that are open to the community include:
Monday, February 18
Border to Border Jazz Artists' Residency: Open Rehearsal with Fredonia Jazz Ensembles
6:15 p.m., Mason 1075
Guest artists Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez, jazz piano and Curt Warren, jazz guitar join the Fredonia Jazz Ensembles in rehearsal.
Wednesday, February 20
Border to Border Jazz Artists' Residency: Clinic on "Jazz Improvisation"
Noon, Mason 1001
Border to Border Jazz Artists' Residency: Open Rehearsal
1 p.m., Diers Recital Hall
Border to Border Jazz Artists' Residency: Clinic "Salsifying the Blues"
5 p.m., Diers Recital Hall
Thursday, February 21
Border to Border Jazz Artists' Residency: Concert
8 p.m., Rosch Recital Hall
Guest artists Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez, piano; and Curt Warren, guitar join Fredonia faculty John Bacon, percussion; Harry Jacobson, string bass; and Bruce Johnstone, saxophone for an evening of jazz.
Friday, February 22
Border to Border Jazz Artists' Residency: Clinic “Jazz Improvisation”
Noon, Mason 1001
Lecture/Demonstration: 3 p.m., Mason 2018.
For a complete list of upcoming events, visit www.fredonia.edu/music
SUNY Fredonia announces the first-ever Border-to-Border Jazz Artists Residency for the campus and community with events featured February 18-22 in Mason Hall on the SUNY Fredonia campus.
The week-long residency features visiting artists and pedagogues who originate from the Southwestern border of the US, specifically, El Paso, Texas.
Visiting artists Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez (jazz piano), and Curt Warren (jazz guitar) will work with students on an individual basis, as well as with the curricular Fredonia Jazz Ensemble led by SUNY Fredonia professor Bruce Johnstone and Fredonia’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Fredonia’s Dr. John Bacon.
Although each artist is well established in his own right–whether it be Latin jazz, progressive jazz, mainstream jazz, or funk–these three artists present our community with a wonderful opportunity to share music across regions. These artists will share both new and old, and north and south with our own acclaimed faculty artists and talented students through rehearsals, lessons, and a concert free and open to the public.
Spearheaded by music theory professor, Dr. Paul Murphy, this project focuses on Latin American music, an area that has seen tremendous growth and interest on campus in recent years.
“The idea for such a residency has been developing in my mind for many years,” explained Dr. Murphy, “having first met these artists when I taught at the University of Texas-El Paso. Pianists Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez, and guitarist, Curt Warren, are top-notch artists and will offer valuable individual and group instruction to students. Their residency recognizes an interest in Latin music that has been present on our campus for a generation, but which has intensified immensely in recent years. Because this specific kind of residency is somewhat of a first, I hope it serves as a model for future performances and pedagogical exchange. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase the talent of our jazz ensembles, and allow them to further explore the genre of Latin jazz music with master artists.”
This residency is made possible with generous support from the Carnahan-Jackson Fund for the Humanities, the SUNY Fredonia Professional Development Center, the SUNY Fredonia Faculty Student Association, and the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble.
About the Artists…
Jazz artist Billy Townes has been shaping the musical landscape of the Southwest for over twenty-five years. An accomplished pianist, producer and songwriter, Townes has earned a reputation for melding fearsome chops with nuanced arrangements and technological wizardry.
Townes' initial exposure to jazz as a teenager transformed his life instantly, as "the improvisational aspect of the music made me gravitate towards it, as opposed to straight R&B or rock," he says. "It challenged me, and listening to Miles, Dizzy and Art Blakey fascinated me. That's why, even though my sets now lean towards contemporary jazz, every now and then, I'll throw in a standard." Other influences that played a part in his development include Joe Sample, Bob James, Chick Corea and Oscar Peterson.
His latest release, Alchemy (Shade Records 2012) continues a long journey towards contemporary jazz perfection. Like the eleven records before it, Alchemy elevates the listener to a higher plateau of personal musical satisfaction.
Ruben Gutierrez is an assistant professor of music at the El Paso Community College where he teaches piano, music theory, and music technology all while he administering to the college’s growing program. His professional career includes several levels of music production in El Paso recording studios and studios in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Mexico City. He is a MIDI keyboard and tone module consultant and has performed, recorded, and transcribed music for Telarc International, Rio Grande Records, Shade Records, and various independent productions.
Solo productions include the CDs Beveled Facets, released 2000; Reposado-Ruben Gutierrez Trio Live at Piano City,” released 2003; and the DVD My Story, a live performance at the University of Texas-El Paso which includes supplemental interviews on aspects of Mr. Gutierrez and his musical career.
Mr. Gutierrez has lectured on the treatment of varied music styles and the piano/keyboard at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, UT-San Antonio, in numerous radio interviews, and at the Conservatorio de Bellas Artes in Chihuahua, Mexico. He has performed and lectured throughout the southwest at a variety of venues: El Paso Music Under the Stars, Jazz in The Canyon, Jazz on the Rocks, Las Cruces Art in the Park, La Viña Jazz and Blues festival, the Mesilla Jazz Festival, “Legends of Western Swing” in Snyder and Wichita falls Texas, the Corpus Christi Jazz festival, Fuego y Alma arts festival in Denton TX, and Padres Jazz in Marfa TX. As a clinician Ruben Gutierrerz has adjudicated solos, orchestra, choir, jazz band, jazz orchestra, and wind ensemble in all major school districts in El Paso.
Ruben Gutierrez performs regularly with his group The Latin Jazz Exchange throughout the country. In El Paso he is on call with local jazz, rock, country, blues groups, and is staff accompanist with the Young El Paso Singers, and Studio Metropolis Spanish classical dance studio.
Curt Warren graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in June of 1972. He completed his Masters in Music Education at North Texas State University in 1983. In 1963, at age 19, he began his professional career playing the Frankie Laine show in Las Vegas. From 1968 to 1970, Curt played shows in Hawaii, including Tony Martin and Teresa Brewer. He also performed in a televised appearance with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Shortly after his graduation from UTEP, he was accepted into the United States Navy Band, "The Commodores" (the official Navy jazz ensemble) in Washington, DC. While performing with this band, he was a featured soloist at the White House, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Midwest Band Convention in Chicago, and at the National Association of Jazz Educators Convention in Dallas, Texas.
Mr. Warren has five albums to his credit with one in the wings:
- · I've Got the World on a String - was recorded with legendary jazz bassist Monty Budwig.
- · Jazz Ruined My Life- was recorded in Chicago and features the great Chicago jazz pianist, Larry Novak, with Rusty Jones on drums and Nick Tountas on bass.
- · Jazz Ruined My Life II- was recorded both in Chicago and El Paso, Texas, released by Innovative Strings Records.
- · Just a Little Christmas Jazz - a Christmas solo guitar CD
- · New Impressions Quartet - Curt Warren (guitar) Erik Unsworth (bass), Ricky Malichi (drums) and the late Vince Genova (piano)
Curt Warren has completed work on Solos and Duos an album soon to be released, featuring collaborations with Dave Young, long time bassist with legendary pianist, Oscar Peterson. Additionally, he has recorded an instructional DVD in Montana released in Spring 2010. He has performed at the Telluride Jazz Festival, the Pecos Valley Jazz Festival, The Dusseldorf Jazz Festival, the Midland/Odessa Jazz Party, the Bill Evans Jazz Festival, and annually for the last 20 years at the Texas Jazz Festival in Corpus Christi, Texas. While playing these festivals he always finds time to give workshops and clinics to aspiring young musicians.
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