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 SRU Jazz Festival features mallet player Dave Samuels 



May 1, 2007
Contact: K.E. Schwab


SRU Jazz Festival features mallet player Dave Samuels


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Dave Samuels, one of the top mallet players of his generation, will be the featured guest at the seventh annual Slippery Rock University Jazz Festival Saturday. Samuels will offer performance tips to 10 regional high school jazz bands, then join the SRU Jazz Ensemble for a public performance.

            The all-day event, organized by Stephen Hawk, associate professor of music, allows participating high school jazz musicians a chance to perform, participate in clinics and join a masterclass offered by established jazz artists. Sessions are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Swope Music Hall and the University Union.

            Samuels will join the SRU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Hawk, for a 5:30 p.m. public performance in the University Union.

            "We host the festival to give high school jazz students the opportunity to show their talents, to receive feedback and to meet with established jazz artists," said Hawk. "Participating students will receive performance feedback from a panel of judges, gain information on their particular instrument, and have the chance to talk with and hear Dave Samuels during the day's activities." 

            Samuels has been recognized for his fresh, new sound and creative approach to both the vibraphone and marimba. He demonstrated his versatility and gained worldwide recognition by performing and recording with a broad scope of artists ranging from Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Carla Bley, The Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny, Bruce Hornsby, Frank Zappa, The Fantasy Band and Double Image to the Caribbean Jazz Project. During his time with Spyro Gyra, a five-time Grammy- nominated group, the band was named #1 Contemporary Jazz Artist and Contemporary Jazz Group of the '80s by Billboard magazine. 

His awards include being voted Best Vibes Player in both Jazziz and Modern Drummer Magazine Samuels received a Grammy in 2003 for "Best Latin Jazz Recording" with his group the Caribbean Jazz Project and its CD "The Gathering." In 2004, he received a second Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Recording for the Caribbean Jazz Project's release "Birds of a Feather," and he was similarly nominated in 2005 for the group's release "Here and Now - Live in Concert." 

Participating jazz bands include Slippery Rock High School, Upper St. Clair High School, North Allegheny High School, Kiski High School, State College High School, New Brighton High School, Greenville High School, West Allegheny High School, Norwin High School and Mars High School.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


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