WMU News

Jazz singer Curtis Stigers comes to Dalton Center

Sept. 10, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Fresh on the heels of his latest release, "You Inspire Me," jazz singer Curtis Stigers is coming to Western Michigan University for a concert Monday, Sept. 15, beginning at 8:15 p.m. in the Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Touring with Stigers and performing at the Dalton Center concert is drummer Keith Hall, a graduate of Battle Creek (Mich.) Pennfield High School and the internationally acclaimed jazz studies program in the WMU School of Music.

General admission tickets are $15 each. Students and senior citizens will be charged $5. Tickets are available through the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at (269) 387-2300 or toll-free (800) 228-9858.

Curtis Stigers

After a brief detour as an international pop star, Curtis Stigers is back to his first love, jazz. Stigers set off in 1987 for New York City. A regular engagement on Manhattan's Upper West Side led to a recording contract with Arista Records. His self-titled debut, released in 1991, sold nearly two million copies and spawned several hit singles. In support of the album, Stigers appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, and toured the world with artists including Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Rod Stewart.

Not content to confine himself to popular music, Stigers broke away from Arista and reconnected with his jazz roots, appearing on albums with mentor Gene Harris and The Doky Brothers. He has appeared with such jazz luminaries as Toots Thielemans, Randy Brecker, Cleo Laine, Jimmy Scott, Chuck Mangione, Frank Wess, Brother Jack McDuff, Ernie Watts, and Red Holloway. Curtis' first release for Concord, "Baby Plays Around" (2001), earned the singer critical acclaim: "a jazz singer in the best sense," said the San Francisco Chronicle, and Mojo agreed, "Stigers manages to be both as authoritative as a veteran and as fresh as an ingenue."

Keith Hall

Battle Creek native Keith Hall earned a Bachelor of Music degree from WMU in 1994. During his years in the School of Music, he co-founded Groov'tet, a jazz quartet comprised of students Xavier Davis (piano), Matt Hughes (bass), and John Wojciechowski (saxophone).

In 1996, Hall moved to New York City, where he received a Master of Arts in Music degree from Queens College. He has performed with jazz greats Sir Roland Hanna, Claudio Roditi, Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Michael Philip Mossman, Joe Wilder, and Steve Wilson. Hall's current activities include teaching privately, serving as an adjunct faculty member at New York University, and touring with Stigers in support of "You Inspire Me."

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

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