The School of Music, a flagship program at the University of North Florida, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Great American Jazz Series, a special component of the Jazz Studies Program that brings popular, talented jazz artists to campus. Performances kick off Thursday, Oct. 5, and run through Thursday, April 19.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate thirty years of the Great American Jazz Series and look forward to exposing the community to many more gifted jazz artists in the years to come,” says Randall Tinnin, UNF School of Music director.
The yearly series that began in 1989 hosts five or six high-profile jazz artists each year for week-long residencies during which they teach and perform with UNF jazz students. In 1986, the Koger Family Foundation created an endowment that provides support to the American Music Fund. Through this support, jazz luminary and Jazz Education Hall of Fame inductee Rich Matteson was hired to create a jazz studies program at UNF. Matteson recruited an all-star faculty, which attracted some of the best and brightest young students in the U.S.
Within a few years, the UNF Jazz Studies Program achieved national recognition, with students winning prestigious Downbeat magazine awards and going on to perform in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, elite Washington D.C. military ensembles and many other world-class artists. This series has enabled the Jazz Ensemble 1 and 2 groups to perform in concert with over one-hundred esteemed artists, such as Herbie Hancock, The Count Basie Orchestra, Joe Henderson, Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker and more.
The 30th Anniversary Great American Jazz Series will feature the following performances, all under the artistic direction of Associate Professor of Music J.B. Scott:
Thursday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. UNF’s Robinson Theater, Building 14A.
Jazz Faculty Scholarship Concert: Jazz Studies faculty, Danny Gottlieb on drums, Barry Greene on guitar, Dennis Marks on bass and Todd DelGiudice on saxophone, will debut original arrangements and compositions. Tickets: $8/$10/$15.
Thursday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. UNF’s Robinson Theater, Building 14A.
Trombonist Dave Steinmeyer – A Legend Salutes the Legends: Dave Steinmeyer, adjunct professor of
applied trombone, will perform in tribute to Rich Matteson, the late founder of the UNF Jazz Studies Program. Steinmeyer has appeared as a performer and clinician at most of the major universities in the U.S. and has performed for eight U.S. presidents. Additionally, he has been a featured artist at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Kennedy Center and the White House. Tickets: $8/$10/$15.
Thursday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m. UNF’s Robinson Theater, Building 14A.
Drummer Ignacio Berroa and trio: Grammy-award winner and international drum star Ignacio Berroa will perform with his trio in tribute to Afro-Cuban Jazz. Tickets: $8/$17/$25.
Thursday, Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. UNF’s Robinson Theater, Building 14A.
Guitarist Jack Peterson: Jack Peterson is an American jazz guitarist, composer, arranger and clinician who revolutionized guitar education. He will perform in tribute to Matteson, with all three jazz ensembles. Tickets: $8/$10/$15.
Friday, March 16, 7:30 p.m. UNF’s Lazzara Hall, Fine Arts Center, Building 45.
A Tribute to Woody Herman: Yamaha performing artist Allen Vizzutti and two-time Grammy Award-winning Richard Stoltzman will perform with the UNF Orchestra and JE1 (Jazz Ensemble 1) in tribute to Woody Herman, the popular bandleader and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner. This performance will be presented in partnership with The Beaches Fine Arts Series. Admission is free.
Thursday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. UNF’s Robinson Theater, Building 14A.
Trumpeter Michael Mossman, a Yamaha performing artist, and Grammy Award-winning trombonist Luis Bonilla: A composer forum will take place featuring legendary composers. Tickets: $8/17/25.
Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m. UNF’s Robinson Theater, Building 14A.
JE1 Plays the Music of JE1: Jazz Ensemble 1, the flagship ensemble of the UNF Jazz Studies Program, will conclude the Great American Jazz Series’ 30th Anniversary celebration by performing original musical compositions. Tickets: $8/$12.
Tickets are available online or by calling the Ticket Box Office at (904) 620-2878.