Award-winning drummer Matt Wilson will be the guest artist at the Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble's winter concert

Award-winning drummer Matt Wilson will be the guest artist at the Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble's winter concert

The Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble will welcome Matt Wilson, Downbeat Magazine's Rising Star Drummer for the past three years, as guest artist at its winter concert on Thursday, Dec. 1. Performances will take place at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Wien Experimental Theatre of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Fairfield University's Director of Jazz and Popular Music Brian Torff, a noted bassist and composer, will lead the ensemble through a program of standards and innovative new works, including George Harrison's "Taxman," John Coltrane's "Cousin Mary," and two Torff originals, "Life in East Bumblepuck" and "Scratch's Voodoo."

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 members of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Spyro Gyra, Blues Brothers saxophonist Lou Marini and internationally known pianist James Williams.

This year's guest is no stranger to accolades. In the past three years, he's received top honors in the Downbeat International Critcs' Poll, was nominated for Jazz Drummer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association and places prominently in the mainstream jazz category in Modern Drummer reader's polls. He was also nominated for the 2004 Bird Award for Rising Star Jazz Artist at the North Sea Jazz Festival.

Wilson's musical versatility keeps him in high demand in bands led by Charlie Haden, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, Dena Derose and many others. In addition, he has performed or recorded with a wide range of artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Carla Bley and Brad Mehldau.

As a bandleader, Wilson has released six critically acclaimed CDs, including his 2004 album, "Wake Up! (to What's Happening)" with his Arts and Crafts band. The release was chosen as one of the top CDs of 2004 by the Village Voice, MSN's, iTunes, Jazziz, All About Jazz and many other media outlets. In addition to Arts and Crafts, Wilson leads tours with the Matt Wilson Quartet, The Carl Sandburg Project and Field Trip.

In his spare time, Wilson teaches others through international workshops. He is active in educational activities for Jazz at Lincoln Center and is on the faculty of the Interplay Jazz Camp and the Langnau, Switzerland Jazz Workshop.

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. For more information, visit

Posted On: 11-01-2005 10:11 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 85