University of Pittsburgh
April 10, 2007

Legendary Jazz Horn Players Curtis Fuller and Jimmy Owens Featured at 2007 Pitt Jazz Ensemble Concert


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Jazz trombonist Curtis Fuller and trumpeter Jimmy Owens will be the featured guest performers at "The Brass Connection"- the Pitt Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert, to be held at 8 p.m. April 16 in the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union (WPU), 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased at the WPU box office. For more information, call 412-624-4187.

The 25-piece student jazz ensemble will perform under the direction of Nathan Davis, head of the Pitt Jazz Studies Program. The ensemble has served as artists-in-residence for one week every year since 1980 in Jamaica, performing for schoolchildren in rural villages, absorbing Caribbean culture, and building goodwill and friendships. Proceeds from this year's concert will help fund the annual trip.

Curtis Fuller is regarded as one of the most distinctive trombone stylists in jazz. He emerged from the thriving Detroit music scene of the late 1940s and early 50s, and, after just eight months in New York City, the 22-year-old had recorded six albums as a leader and appeared on 15 others. He performed and recorded with John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Art Blakey, and many others. He is featured on the famous tune "Moment's Notice" on Coltrane's classic "Blue Train" album. Fuller toured with the Count Basie Band, led the quintet Giant Bones, and performed and recorded with the revamped Jazztet.

Jimmy Owens started on trumpet when he was 10 years old and later studied with his mentor, Donald Byrd. By his mid-twenties, Owens had been a sideman with Lionel Hampton, Hank Crawford, Charles Mingus, Herbie Mann, Gerry Mulligan, and Duke Ellington. He played on Billy Cobham's "Spectrum" album in 1973, and worked extensively in Europe. For more than 30 years, Owens has been a strong musicians' advocate. He helped establish the Collective Black Artists, a nonprofit organization that protects and improves the economic status of jazz artists, was closely involved with the Jazzmobile in New York, and served on several arts commissions. He helped create the Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund, which helps jazz artists with financial and medical needs, as well as counseling in career decisions and substance abuse.

Greg Humphries on drums, Dwayne Dolphin on bass, James Johnson on piano, and Cecil "Valdez" Washington on Latin percussion will accompany Fuller and Owens.