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Concert celebrates landmark jazz collaboration

Jan. 29, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University music professor is part of a unique compact disc recording, and listeners can hear the results in person at a CD-release concert Friday, Jan. 30.

Chicago-based concert pianist, singer and songwriter Kevin Cole knew where to find a good bass player for his new ground-breaking jazz album--nearby Kalamazoo. Cole asked Tom Knific, director of WMU's jazz studies program, to take part in his recording project, "In The Words of Ira: The Songs of Ira Gershwin," which features the lyrics of Ira Gershwin. It is the first recording exclusively featuring Ira Gershwin with composers other than his brother George.

Cole is regarded as one of the best living interpreters of Ira and George Gershwin's music. All of the CD's arrangements are original, with 90 percent of them put together by Cole and Knific in Knific's living room.

Friday's concert, beginning at 8:15 p.m. in WMU's Dalton Center Recital Hall, also will feature drummer Tim Froncek, a former WMU instructor of music and a fellow member with Knific of the Western Jazz Quartet. Froncek also played drums on the CD.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door and through the Miller Auditorium box office in person or by calling (269) 387-2300 or (800) 228-9858.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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