SUNY Fredonia presents Border-to-Border Jazz Artists Residency

SUNY Fredonia announces the first-ever Border-to-Border Jazz Artists Residency for the campus and community with events featured Feb. 18-22 in Mason Hall on the SUNY Fredonia campus.

The week-long residency features visiting artists and pedagogues who originate from the Southwestern border of the U.S., specifically El Paso, Texas. Visiting artists Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez (jazz piano), and Curt Warren (jazz guitar) will work with students on an individual basis, as well as with the curricular Fredonia Jazz Ensemble led by SUNY Fredonia professor Bruce Johnstone and Fredonia’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Fredonia’s Dr. John Bacon.

Although each artist is well established in his own right – whether it be Latin jazz, progressive jazz, mainstream jazz, or funk – these three artists present our community with a wonderful opportunity to share music across regions. These artists will share both new and old, and north and south with our own acclaimed faculty artists and talented students through rehearsals, lessons, and a concert free and open to the public.

Spearheaded by music theory professor Dr. Paul Murphy, this project focuses on Latin American music, an area that has seen tremendous growth and interest on campus in recent years.

“The idea for such a residency has been developing in my mind for many years,” explained Dr. Murphy, “having first met these artists when I taught at the University of Texas-El Paso. Pianists Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez, and guitarist, Curt Warren, are top-notch artists and will offer valuable individual and group instruction to students. Their residency recognizes an interest in Latin music that has been present on our campus for a generation, but which has intensified immensely in recent years. Because this specific kind of residency is somewhat of a first, I hope it serves as a model for future performances and pedagogical exchange. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase the talent of our jazz ensembles, and allow them to further explore the genre of Latin jazz music with master artists.”

Throughout the week, the artists will give private and group lessons and clinics for SUNY Fredonia students. There are also several events that are open to the community. All events are free of charge. Events that are open to the community include:

Monday, Feb. 18

Border to Border Jazz Artists’ Residency: Open Rehearsal with Fredonia Jazz Ensembles 6:15 p.m., Mason 1075

Guest artists Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez, jazz piano and Curt Warren, jazz guitar join the Fredonia Jazz Ensembles in rehearsal.

Wednesday, Feb. 20

Border to Border Jazz Artists’ Residency: Clinic on “Jazz Improvisation” noon, Mason 1001

Border to Border Jazz Artists’ Residency: Open Rehearsal 1 p.m., Diers Recital Hall

Border to Border Jazz Artists’ Residency: Clinic “Salsifying the Blues” 5 p.m., Diers Recital Hall

Thursday, Feb. 21

Border to Border Jazz Artists’ Residency: Concert 8 p.m., Rosch Recital Hall

Guest artists Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez, piano; and Curt Warren, guitar join Fredonia faculty John Bacon, percussion; Harry Jacobson, string bass; and Bruce Johnstone, saxophone for an evening of jazz.

Friday, Feb. 22

Border to Border Jazz Artists’ Residency: Clinic “Jazz Improvisation” noon, Mason 1001

This residency is made possible with generous support from the Carnahan-Jackson Fund for the Humanities, the SUNY Fredonia Professional Development Center, the SUNY Fredonia Faculty Student Association, and the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble.

For a complete list of upcoming events, visit