48th Annual Jazz Band Festival Features Accomplished Pianist

The festival culminates with a concert by Geoffrey Keezer.

WHAT: The Texas Tech University School of Music will host the 48th annual Jazz Band Festival for local junior college, high school and junior high school jazz ensembles. Ensembles will compete on Friday and Saturday (April 17-18).

There will be an evening awards concert in the Student Union Allen Theatre featuring Texas Tech Jazz Ensembles and guest artist Geoffrey Keezer.  The concert will be free to festival participants. Ticket prices for the concert are $12 for the general public. Students with a Texas Tech student ID and seniors will be $10, and children under the age of 12 will not be charged.

Tickets are available at the door or in advance at music.ttu.edu.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday (April 18)

WHERE: Allen Theatre, Student Union Building, 15th Street & Akron Avenue

WHO: With his highly regarded discography, unique compositions and acclaimed performances in a variety of configurations, pianist Geoffrey Keezer commands the attention typically reserved for the living legends of jazz. Whether recording with jazzy chanteuses Diana Krall or Dianne Reeves, touring with trumpet king Chris Botti or collaborating with pop icon Sting, sax legend Wayne Shorter, guitar wizard Jim Hall, star bassist Christian McBride or vibes master Joe Locke, Keezer “has more than enough virtuosity and sheer musical wit and intelligence to weave all of his apparently disparate strands of influence into an original and compelling whole,” according to Time Magazine.

A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Keezer was playing in jazz clubs as a teenager, holding down the piano chair for Art Blakey at age 18 and touring in the company of Joshua Redman, Benny Golson and Ray Brown in his 20s. More recently he has toured with David Sanborn, Botti, Locke and McBride; worked with vocalist Denise Donatelli on projects garnering three Grammy nominations; and released a series of albums drawing influences from Hawaiian, Okinawan and Afro-Peruvian folk traditions. Keezer's recent focus is on solo piano and the 2013 release of “Heart of the Piano,” his first solo album in 13 years.

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CONTACT:  Stephen Jones, director of jazz studies, School of Music, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-8379 or stephen.jones@ttu.edu.