Emory Report
February 7, 2005
Volume 61, Number 18


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February 7, 2005
Daniels brings his clarinet to Jazz Festival, Feb. 10-12

BY nancy condon & sally corbett

Jazz enthusiasts are in for two nights of swinging and sophisticated fun during Emory’s annual Jazz Festival, coming up this weekend. The festival begins with a public workshop at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10, followed by concerts on Feb. 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. in the Schwartz Center’s Emerson Concert Hall.

Friday night’s concert features 2005 Emory Coca-Cola Artist-in-Residence Eddie Daniels, a Grammy-award winning clarinetist, performing with the Gary Motley Trio (tickets: $15; faculty/staff $10; Emory students free). The Emory Big Band, a student ensemble led by Gary Motley, director of jazz studies, takes the stage on Saturday night (free, no tickets required).

Daniels sets the tone for the festival on Thursday afternoon when he delivers a Perspective on Performance Series lecture/demonstration on improvisation and composition in the Schwartz Center’s Tharp Rehearsal Hall (free and open to the public). Beyond Daniels’ extensive touring and recording career, the multi-instrumentalist with jazz and classical roots is known for his clinics on technique, improvisation and overcoming performance anxiety, and for sharing his personal perspective on being a music maker with young musicians.

“The most fun happens in music when you’re not doing it, when the music plays itself,” Daniels said. “Why is this night different than all other nights? Why is music different from anything else in life? When we let things flow, joy happens.”

Daniels began studying clarinet at age 13, eventually earning a master’s degree in clarinet from the Juilliard School in New York. He first performed jazz as tenor saxophonist with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966 at New York’s legendary Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village. That same year he won first prize for saxophone at the International Competition for Modern Jazz in Vienna. In 1968 an inspired clarinet solo on a Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra recording led to his winning Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics New Star on Clarinet award. A multifaceted musician, Daniels is a virtuoso in both classical music and jazz, playing Mozart as easily as Charlie Parker. Daniels has made 20 albums, earned Grammy awards and nominations and performed with leading orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.

Leonard Bernstein once said, “Eddie Daniels combines elegance and virtuosity … He is a thoroughly well-bred demon.” To hear audio clips of Daniels’ music, visit www.eddiedanielsclarinet.com.

Joining Daniels on Friday night will be the Gary Motley Trio, with Motley on piano, Neil Starkey on bass and Mike Shepherd on percussion. An active performer, Motley has appeared with Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and others, and has been a guest on Marian McPartland’s National Public Radio program, “Piano Jazz.” Starkey has recorded with Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard and the CBS Allstars, and has performed with Barney Kessel and Kenny Barron, as well as with the Georgia State University Faculty Jazztet. Shepherd is a retired Armed Forces School of Music instructor (Norfolk, Va.) and has performed with the Navy Commodores, Maynard Ferguson and Clark Terry, among others.

For more information on these and other jazz events, or for advance tickets to Eddie Daniels, call
404-727-5050 or visit www.arts.emory.edu. The program for each festival concert will be announced onstage.