Jazz at Bucknell Feb. 26: The Eastman Jazz Quartet

The Eastman Jazz Quartet will perform in concert Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Bucknell Hall at Bucknell University.
The performance, which is free and open to the public, is part of the University's ongoing Jazz at Bucknell series.
The Quartet — Clay Jenkins, trumpet, Harold Danko, piano, Jeff Campbell, bass, and Rich Thompson, drums — are members of the jazz faculty at the Eastman School of Music in addition to leading active performing careers.

Clay Jenkins' career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences and responsibilities, beginning at an early age playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton Band, Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the Stan Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps. He moved to Los Angeles in 1978 and studied with renowned trumpet teacher James Stamp. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra. He continues to perform and record with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, of which he is a charter member (the trumpet section has included trumpet artists Snooky Young, Bobby Bryant, Chuck Findley, Oscar Brashear, Byron Stripling and Bijon Watson).

Harold Danko is well recognized from long-term associations with jazz legends including Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Lee Konitz and Woody Herman, in performances at major jazz venues throughout the world as well as on recordings, television and video. As a leader he has been featured at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artist series, Washington DC Performing Arts Society series at J.F.K. Center, and numerous jazz festivals both in the USA and abroad. His latest trio CD, released in 2012, is Unriched on SteepleChase.

Jeff Campbell maintains an active schedule performing with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Trio East, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet and has appeared on McPartland’s Piano Jazz program on National Public Radio. He has performed at prestigious European musical events and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics. His first CD, West End Avenue, with John Hollenbeck and John Wojceichowski, features a combination of original compositions and jazz standards. He is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra bass section. Campbell's summers are occupied with the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wis., where he serves as program director, and the Eastman Summer Jazz Studies and Bass Day, of which he is co-director. He is a regular contributor to the Double Bassist magazine, and is the jazz editor of Bass World.
Rich Thompson appeared with the Count Basie Orchestra at the 1997 President's Inaugural Ball and spent part of 1996 touring with the Basie Orchestra. He was featured on Tito Puente’s 1996 CD release Jazzin, a collaboration CD with Tito Puente, Puente’s Latin rhythm section and the Count Basie Orchestra. He was one of 15 semifinalists in the Thelonious Monk International Drum Competition in October 1992. In the past 10 years he has played numerous times with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass and Clark Terry. He has recorded numerous times in the U.S. and France with pianists Bill Dobbins (Paradise, Glass Enclosure and others) and as a co-leader with James Williams (of Art Blakey fame) on the CD Eventually. He has also recorded/performed with Bobby McFerrin and with the Eastman Jazz Trio. Most recently, he can be heard with Trio East, which has been performing in New York City and has been featured in All About Jazz. His most recent trio release, Generations, was released May of 2012 by Origin Records in Seattle, Wash.

The Jazz at Bucknell series presents international modern masters and young visionaries, showcasing the entire tradition of jazz, from standards to the avant-garde, with an eye on artists who continue the innovative tradition of the music with their personal approaches to sound, style and composition.

The spring Jazz at Bucknell concert schedule includes the Matt Mitchell Quartet on March 5; the Bucknell Jazz Band with special guests Fred Sturm and Clay Jenkins on April 8; and Jason Moran and the Bandwagon (co-sponsored with the Weis Center) on April 17.

(Information from Kathryn Kopchik)

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