Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe to play with Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble

Legendary Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe will be the guest artist for the Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble's winter concert on Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The ensemble will give two performances at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Quick Center's Wien Experimental Theatre.

Born Johnie Lee Johnson in Ocean Springs, Miss., Jaimoe was one of the original six members of the Allman Brothers Band when it formed in 1969 and he was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the band. His subtle, driving style has been an integral part of the band's blend of blues, rock and jazz fusion, especially on the seminal "The Allman Brothers at the Fillmore East." In March, the Allman Brothers Band, known as one of the best jam bands in rock history, released its first studio album in nine years, "Hittin' the Note," with Jaimoe on drums.

In addition to playing with the Allman Brothers, the versatile drummer has backed Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and Patti Labelle. Also a member of the band Sea Level, Jaimoe, who lives in Bloomfield, Conn., performed on several tours with American icon Otis Redding in the 1960s and has shared the bill with Smokey & the Miracles, Sam & Dave, Martha & the Vandellas and Aretha Franklin.

The Jazz Ensemble is an accomplished group of university students, who often invite notable guest artists to join them in concert. Past guests have included James Williams, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Steve Turre, three former members of Blood, Sweat & Tears, Dave Samuels and Ingrid Jensen among others.

Brian Torff, director of the Fairfield University Music Program, will lead the ensemble through a program of standards and original works. Selections will include Torff's "Dominating" and "Steady Flo", "A La Mode" by Curtis Fuller, "Freedom Jazz Dance" by Eddie Harris, "Gingerbread Boy" by Jimmy Heath, and "Statesboro Blues," a Willie McTell piece made famous by the Allman Brothers Band.

Torff, a noted bassist, has played with jazz legends Stephane Grappelli, George Shearing and Erroll Garner and has written scores performed by the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony. The New York Times called him "a virtuoso bassist, imaginative and distinctive in his solos, but more than that, a solid composer and arranger." This summer, Torff joined an elite group of international musicians for "The Spirit of Django Reinhardt," a well-received concert tour celebrating the virtuoso gypsy guitarist that included dates at Lincoln Center, Ravinia and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Torff will appear at the famous New York City jazz club Birdland on Tuesday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 23, with the Django Reinhardt Festival.

Tickets to the Jazz Ensemble concert are $8, $5 for students. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on November 5, 2003

Vol. 36, No. 108

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