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March 24, 2010

NIU Jazz Ensemble to perform spring concert with drummer Lewis Nash

DeKalb, Ill. — The nationally renowned NIU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Ron Carter, will perform with guest composer and drummer Lewis Nash at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom.

The ballroom is located in the Holmes Student Center on Normal Avenue on the campus of Northern Illinois University. The concert is free and open to the public.

“Rhythm Is My Business” is the title of his debut recording as a leader, and rhythm is a booming business as far as Nash is concerned. He is the drummer of choice for an incredible array of artists – from the masters of the music to the hottest young players of today – and is equally in demand as a clinician and educator.

Born in Phoenix, Nash developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age 10. By age 18, he was performing with local jazz groups. By the time he was 21, Nash had become the “first call” jazz drummer in Phoenix, working with Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Lee Konitz, Barney Kessell and Slide Hampton during their engagements in the city.

In 1981, Nash moved to New York City and joined the trio of the great jazz vocalist Betty Carter. For nearly four years, he toured internationally with Carter and is featured on three of her recordings, including the Grammy winning “Look What I Got.”

Since June 1998 to the present, the Jazz Studies Program at NIU has been rated as one of the top 10 graduate jazz programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the NIU Jazz Studies has won significant recognition from Downbeat Magazine’s Student Recognition Awards, capturing more than 10 Outstanding Performance Awards.

Jazz bands from NIU have received Outstanding Performance Awards at several major jazz festivals, including the prestigious Notre Dame, Elmhurst and Eau Claire Collegiate Jazz Festivals. The Liberace Graduate Jazz Combo already has received international acclaim performing at the IAJE Conference in Toronto, Canada, the JVC Jazz Festival in New York and the Lima Peru Jazz Festival in Lima, Peru.

For more information, contact Lynn Slater in the NIU School of Music at lslater@niu.edu or (815) 753-1546.

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Media Contact: Ron Carter, NIU School of Music
Phone: (815) 753-0643
Email: carter@niu.edu