Jazz Festival to Feature Saxophonist Chris Vadala


MACON – Mercer University will conclude its 2002 Jazz Festival with a performance by guest saxophonist Chris Vadala in concert with the Mercer University Jazztet and Jazz Ensemble at the Grand Opera House on Friday, April 26, at 8 p.m.

Tickets will be $5 for general admission.

The evening event culminates a day of performances by high school and middle school jazz ensembles at Mercer’s McCorkle Music Building. Each group’s performance will be followed by a brief clinic with Vadala allowing him to share his insight and instruction with the aspiring musicians.

Once of the country’s foremost woodwind artists, Vadala is in demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. He has been involved with more than 100 recordings to date, as well as innumerable jingle sessions, film and TV scores, performing on saxophones, flutes and clarinets.

A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, earning the honor of the Performer’s Certificate in saxophone as well as a B.M. in Music Education, received an M.A. in clarinet from Connecticut College, and pursued postgraduate study in woodwinds at Eastman. He is currently the director of Jazz Studies and saxophone professor at the University of Maryland.

As one of the Selmer Company’s most requested clinicians, Vadala travels worldwide, performing with and conducting student and professional jazz ensembles, symphonic bands, and orchestras. Within the past six years alone, he has appeared with more than 200 groups across the United States and Canada, and has conducted 28 All-State Jazz Ensembles.

Vadala’s career has been highlighted by a long tenure as standout woodwind artist with the internationally recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet. He has performed and/or recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, Phil Woods, Joe Lovano, and many others. He has authored many articles including a column, which appears regularly in “Saxophone Journal.” His book, “Improve Your Doubling,” (Dorn Publications) is acclaimed as a valuable addition to woodwind literature, and his debut solo CD, “Out of the Shadows,” (Amazon.com and Tower Records) is receiving considerable attention.

Founded in 1833 in Penfield, Ga., Mercer is the only independent university of its size in the country to offer programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, pharmacy, law, theology and nursing. With more than 7,300 students on campuses in Macon and Atlanta, Mercer is one of the largest Baptist-affiliated institutions in the world. Led by President R. Kirby Godsey, Mercer has been ranked among the leading colleges and universities in the South by U.S. New & World Report for 12 consecutive years.

Editor’s Note: Media interested in covering the event should contact Lance Wallace at (478) 301-4037 or (800) 837-2911.

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