March 25, 2004 — Jazz enthusiasts are in for a treat Saturday night when legendary jazz bassist Larry Ridley joins the UVI Jazz Ensemble for a very special performance at 8 p.m. in UVIs New Dining Pavilion.
Having performed with such jazz luminaries as Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Sonny Stitt and many more, Ridley is both the consummate jazz artist and educator.
The bassist extraordinaire was inducted into the Down Beat Magazine Jazz Education Hall of Fame, The International Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame and received the Living Legacy Jazz Award from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Presently he is the executive director of the African American Jazz Caucus (AAJC).
Martin Lamkin, the director of the UVI Jazz Ensemble, says he has known and worked with Ridley over the years and has the utmost respect for him as a jazz artist. Lamkin currently serves as a board member of the AAJC.
Ridley is just the latest jazz giant Lamkin has invited to UVI in order to perform a teaching clinic for young musicians. According to Lamkin, UVI's clinic program, which started in 1989, has played host to jazz greats like pianist Mulgrew Miller, drummer Ralph Peterson and tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, just to name a few. This Thursday, Ridley performed a teaching clinic at UVI's Choir room on the St. Thomas campus.
Also featured on Saturday's program is vocalist/pianist Vashti Hooker, who will be performing such jazz favorites as "Misty," "My Funny Valentine" and "Ill Take Romance." Additionally, Saturday's concert will also feature a number of soloists from the ensemble, including alto player Terry Livesey on "Georgia on My Mind."
The 16-piece ensemble will be exploring several compositions from the Count Basie Band, such as "C.B. Express," "Blues in Hoss Flat," and "The Booze Brothers." Another tune featuring the ensemble will be Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You."
Saturday's concert is being funded in part by the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional sponsorship has been provided by American Airlines and Best Western Emerald Beach Hotel.
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available from the UVI Humanities Division, the Music Area, the UVI Bookstore and Ensemble Members.
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