Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Ashland University’s award-winning Jazz program is proud to present the 2014 Maplerock Jazz Festival slated for Friday, March 21. Along with free performances by area high school jazz ensembles in the afternoon, the event presents a main stage concert at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre featuring the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock, and the Matt Wilson Quartet as guest artist.

The afternoon performances are free and open to the public while tickets for the evening concert are available through the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online (additional fees apply) at www.ashland.edu/tickets.

Comprised of New York based drummer and Grammy nominee Matt Wilson, bassist Chris Lightcap, Jeff Lederer on tenor saxophone and clarinet, and Kirk Knuffke on cornet, the Matt Wilson Quartet was formed in 1996.  As the quartet’s founder, Wilson is one of today's most celebrated jazz artists. He is universally recognized for his musical and melodic drumming style as well as being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer, and teaching artist. His positive energy, sense of humor and ability to explore a broad range of musical settings keeps him in constant demand. In addition, Wilson’s dedication to jazz has helped establish him as a beloved world ambassador for the music, on and off the bandstand.   

Wilson has performed with many music legends including Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello, and Wynton Marsalis, and he has appeared on 250 CDs as a sideman and has released 9 as a leader for Palmetto Records as well as co-leading 5 additional releases.  Matt performed at the White House as part of an all-star jazz group for a State Dinner concert hosted by President Obama. He was named the artist in residence at the Litchfield Jazz Festival where he conducted a much-heralded public interview with Dave Brubeck. In 2010, Wilson conducted over 250 outreach programs promoting jazz including an acclaimed Jazz for Young Peoples concert at Lincoln Center.

In November 2009, Matt was featured on the covers of both Downbeat and JazzTimes magazines and was voted #1 Rising Star Drummer in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for 5 consecutive years. The readers of JazzTimes recently chose him as one of the top 4 drummers in the 2010 Readers Poll. In 2003, he was voted Drummer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

The high school and middle school performance schedule in Hugo Young Theatre is as follows:
1:00 p.m.         Ashland Middle School
1:30 p.m.         Wellington High School
2:00 p.m.         Ashland High School Jazz Band B
2:30 p.m.         Rittman High School
3:00 p.m.         Ashland High School Jazz Band A

3:30 p.m.         Orrville High School

Tickets for the evening concert are $10 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students and Ashland University faculty and staff; and free for Ashland University students.

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