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Benefit concert to support jazz studies

Nov. 26, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Vincent Herring, considered to be one of the premiere saxophonists of his generation, will perform in a benefit concert to support the Western Michigan University Jazz Studies Program.

The show begins at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Union Cabaret and Grill, 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, in downtown Kalamazoo. The cover charge is $20 and $5 for WMU students.

The WMU School of Music is sponsoring the fund-raiser, and all proceeds will support the Billy Hart Jazz Studies Scholarship. The scholarship was established in March, when Hart was honored for his 15 years as a visiting artist in residence at the University. At that time, he received citations from state Rep. Robert Jones and Gov. Jennifer Granholm. He also was honored by Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell with the city's establishment of Billy Hart Day, to be observed March 28 each year.

Herring will be joined by Billy Hart, a jazz drummer, and WMU music professor Tom Knific, bassist. Also performing will be New York pianist Peter Zack.

Herring has recorded 15 albums and can be heard on some 200 others as a sideman. He first toured Europe and the United States with Lionel Hampton's big band in the early 1980s. Along the way, he worked with Nat Adderley, Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Hayes, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and dozens of other jazz legends. He appeared as a guest soloist at the Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis and at Carnegie Hall with John Faddis and the Carnegie Hall Big Band.

Herring is currently on staff at William Patterson University and also conducts master classes and jazz workshops at Juilliard. He also has taught master classes on jazz improvising at Duke and Cornell universities.

Media contact: Kevin West, (269) 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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