August 27, 2015

NJCU alumni jazz big band to perform a ‘Tribute to Clark Terry’ with special guest appearance by Wynton Marsalis

Free Concert September 10 on Jersey City Waterfront
Jersey City, N.J., August 27, 2015 – The New Jersey City University Alumni Jazz Big Band conducted by NJCU Professor Richard Lowenthal will perform a “Tribute to Clark Terry” with a special guest appearance by acclaimed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis at the J. Owen Grundy Pier, Exchange Place in Jersey City on Thursday, September 10 at 6:30 p.m.
This final performance of Jersey City’s “Sounds of Summer Concert Series” will bring together a number of musicians who had known or performed with Mr. Terry during his fabled career.  Mr. Marsalis was a close friend of the jazz legend who passed away in February at the age of 94. 
The Alumni Band will feature musicians who studied at the University from the late 1960s to the present.  Among the performers will be drummer Rich DeRosa (recipient of the 2014 NJCU Distinguished Alumni Award); sax players Mark Friedman, Daryl Dixon, and Bob Magnuson; trumpeters Vinnie Cutro and Nathan Eklund; and trombonists Rob Edwards, Danny Hall, and Conrad Zulauf.  Joining the Alumni Band are bassist Marcus McLaurine and pianist Mike Longo, professional musicians who performed with Clark Terry through the years.
“NJCU is proud to partner with the City to present this special tribute to the legendary Clark Terry and to share the genius of jazz great Wynton Marsalis and the fine musicianship of our music alumni and faculty,” stated President Sue Henderson.
She continued, “Thanks to talented professionals like Professor Lowenthal, NJCU students can benefit from their professors’ years of teaching, mentoring, and networking. Dick has performed across the globe for decades, sometimes with students or alumni. We’re so proud that Dick is beginning his 49th year as a faculty member in our Caroline L. Guarini Department of Music, Dance and Theatre.”
The first annual “Clark Terry Award” will be presented at the concert to an NJCU student who honors the legacy, fine musicianship, and strong humanitarian values of the great man for whom the award is named.
Sponsors for the “Tribute to Clark Terry” include: the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs, Hudson County Department of Parks and Community Services, NJCU Foundation, Arch Insurance, Del-Sano Contracting, Genova Burns, Goldman Sachs, Scarinci Hollenbeck,
30 M Acquisitions LLC, Connell Foley, Liberty Savings Federal Credit Union, Mack-Cali, Panepinto Properties, SILVERMAN, Wells Fargo Bank, Hopkins Group, Masonry Contractors Association, Hyatt Regency Jersey City, Capital One Bank, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Jazz Society, WBGO, and Hot House Jazz Magazine.
On February 22, 2015 the jazz world lost one of its great trumpet legends when Clark Terry passed away in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, at the age of 94. 
Born and raised in St. Louis, Mr. Terry began his career with the Charlie Barnet Orchestra where he met trumpet section mate Doc Severinson, who would later become Mr. Terry’s band leader.  In 1948, he joined the Count Basie Orchestra and three years later joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra, with which he performed from 1951 to 1959. 
In 1962, Mr. Terry became a national musical celebrity as the first African-American member of a television studio orchestra – the Tonight Show Orchestra with Johnny Carson on NBC. It was there that Mr. Terry developed his signature tune, “Mumbles.”  He performed with the Tonight Show Orchestra through 1972. 
As a trumpeter, pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, composer, and one of the foremost jazz educators in the world, he earned over 250 awards and honors, among them: induction into the Jazz at Lincoln Center Hall of Fame in 2013; the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010; the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award in1991; and sixteen honorary doctorates.
Mr. Terry, featured soloist at NJCU’s 50th Anniversary Concert and at four other concerts, travelled for a week with the NJCU Jazz Band, marking the first time a college jazz ensemble had a major jazz soloist tour with them.
Wynton Marsalis was mentored by Mr. Terry with whom he shares many attributes and contributions to jazz through performance, teaching, research and composition.
Born in New Orleans in 1961, Mr. Marsalis moved to New York City where he enrolled at Juilliard in 1979.  He joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in 1980, and went on to perform with Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, and many other jazz legends.  Mr. Marsalis formed his own group in 1981, touring for the next 15 years.
In 1987, he co-founded a jazz program at Lincoln Center, and in 1996, Jazz at Lincoln Center was recognized as a cultural institution of equal stature with the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet.  Under Mr. Marsalis’ leadership, Jazz at Lincoln Center is more than a center of performance; it also offers comprehensive educational programming, including concerts, film forums, television and radio activities, and educational activities. 
Among the many honors Mr. Marsalis has received are:  nine Grammy Awards, including 1983 and 1984 awards for both jazz and classical records; and the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his oratorio “Blood on the Fields;” and 25 honorary degrees.
Much like his mentor Clark Terry, Mr. Marsalis devotes a tremendous amount of time to giving back to musicians of all ages to ensure that the heritage of jazz will live on.
This is the third year the NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band has been featured in a waterfront concert on the J. Owen Grundy Pier.  Last September, the Big Band performed with guitarists John and Bucky Pizzarelli in a salute to “The Other Jersey Boys.” In 2013, trumpet great Jon Faddis performed as part of the NJCU presidential inaugural celebration for Dr. Henderson.
This concert marks the third consecutive reunion of the NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band, conducted by Professor Lowenthal, who, in September, will begin his 49th year as a faculty member at the University.  He founded the Jazz Program at NJCU, then JCSC, in 1969.  Under Professor Lowenthal’s leadership, the band appeared at concerts and festivals throughout the world, including a one-week residency with Gerry Mulligan in Paris, Montreux Jazz Festival, Notre Dame Jazz Festival, and a U.S. State Department tour of Romania.  Under his leadership and then continuing with Professor Ed Joffe, who recently retired, NJCU has offered a strong program for the past 46 years.  Recently, Professor Lowenthal led an NJCU student quartet for a one-week residency at the True Music School in Mumbai, India.
NJCU offers an outstanding program in jazz studies featuring a faculty of world-class New York-based jazz artists. Both undergraduates and graduate students take part in a rigorous program designed to develop their improvisational, compositional and ensemble skills. The program also offers courses in the business side of the industry. NJCU alumni have an impressive list of credits including Broadway, television, the recording industry, and symphony orchestras. Alumni have worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Gerry Mulligan, Ray Charles, Peter Nero, Marian McPartland, Lionel Hampton, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Horace Silver, Nancy Wilson, Mel Torme, and Tony Bennett.
The “Tribute to Clark Terry” concert is free and open to the public. The J. Owen Grundy Pier is conveniently located near public transportation and there are parking lots in the area. For more information, call 201-200-3426 or visit the NJCU website at
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Editor’s Note: 
Photo of Wynton Marsalis by Rob Wayman courtesy of Lincoln Center

Caption: Wynton Marsalis will make a guest appearance with the NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band in a “Tribute to Clark Terry” on Thursday, September 10, at the J. Owens Grundy Pier in Jersey City.

Photo of Clark Terry courtesy of Clark Terry/Jazz Corner
Caption: Jazz legend Clark Terry


Ellen Wayman-Gordon

Don Jay Smith
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