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Friday, April 1, 2011

Italian Big Bad @ WSU (Ogden: April 7)

International Jazz at WSU
Who: Weber State University Department of Performing Arts
What: Italian Big Band musicians in-residence
When: Thursday, 7 April 2011, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Allred Theater, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts

Weber State University Department of Performing Arts presents the WSU Jazz Ensemble with Italian Big Band guest artists, Marco Renzi, guest conductor, and Bepi D’Amato, clarinet, at 7:30 Thursday, April 7, in the Allred Theater, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $5/$4. Children 8 years and older are welcome to attend. The two guest artists will also be presenting master class and workshops.
Renzi will conduct the WSU Jazz Band concert, which will feature Italian music arranged for jazz orchestra. Don Keipp, WSU Jazz Ensemble director, says “We are excited to host two of Italy’s greatest musicians; and we thank the Italian government for making this weeklong residency and concert possible through its full sponsorship of Marco Renzi and Bepi D’Amato. The residency and concert are good examples of two core values: academic excellence and educational opportunity.
Renzi, founded the “Italian Big Band” in 1993, which includes many well-known Italian musicians, as well as renowned international jazz soloists. His musical studies were in cello, piano, organ and composition; and he was a concert organist in Italy and abroad. Renzi has also worked as a pianist and arranger with famous Italian artists, and he has written many compositions for organ.
Renzi was artistic director of the first edition of “September in Minerva;” an independent review of concerts in Rome organized by the Ministry of Education aimed at the enhancement of musical productions of the most important Italian music conservatories. Since 1990 he has been artistic director of the Company’s Concerts “P. Riccitelli” of Teramo. Included in his professional tenure was a faculty position at the conservatory “A. Casella” dell’ Aquila (1972-1998); appointed director of “N. Piccinni” of Bari (1988); appointed director pro-tempore of “G. Braga” of Teramo; named director of the Research Center of Casa Piccinni (1998-present); and appointed the artistic director of the Orchestra Sinfonica (ICO) of Bari Province (2002).
D’Amato, born in Pescara in 1959, has been the featured soloist of the Italian Big Band since its founding in 1993. The clarinetist and saxophonist graduated from the Pescara Conservatory “L. D’Annunzio” (1977), and he was first clarinet in the Pescara Symphony Orchestra (1986-1992). He played chamber music and was self-taught in jazz until he attended the Conservatory of Music of Campobasso, where he earned a degree in jazz music (1999). In addition to collaborating with Renzi, D’Amato often teams with Larry Franco, named best Italian jazz singer in 2008, and with pianist Tony Pancella.
D’Amato has worked as a free-lance soloist with the Tony Scott Big Band (1997); with the DePaul University Big Band, conducted by Bob Lark (2005); and during the past 20 years with many American jazz musicians including Buddy DeFranco, Kenny Davern, Larry Willis, Ira Coleman and Bobby Durham. In 2004 he won the International Massimo Urbai Award and the national Italian competition “Baronissi Jazz.”
For more information about the residency or the April 7 concert, contact Keipp at dkeipp@weber.edu or 801-626-7073.

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