The Donny McCaslin Blackstar Quartet and Jazz Week at Parkside

Fresh from the Grammy Awards, Donny McCaslin and his Blackstar Quartet come to Kenosha on March 9 as the featured ensemble during UW-Parkside Jazz Week. Saxophonist Donny McCaslin and his group performed with the late David Bowie on his multi-Grammy Award winning, final album—Blackstar. Tony Visconti, co-producer of the album, commented to the Guardian about McCaslin and his band: “What I like about Donny and his musicians is that they are very cultured jazz musicians but young enough to embrace the extremes of pop and rock. They are ‘one-take’ players. There are no mistakes, just expert playing.”

McCaslin dedicated his latest album Beyond Now “to (Bowie) and to all who loved him.” His quartet is comprised of the musicians who performed on Blackstar. The members are Donny McCaslin on saxophones, Jason Lidner on keyboard, bassist Jonathan Maron, and drummer Nate Wood. They are scheduled to perform at UW-Parkside, offering a free master class in the afternoon, followed by an evening concert with ticket prices at $10 for adults, $5 for students. The group’s repertoire is expansive – songs by Bowie, covers of Deadmau5, MUTEMATH, the Chainsmokers as well as many McCaslin originals.

The Music Department at UW-Parkside hosts Jazz Week from March 6 through March 10. This year’s line-up of four jazz quartets highlights new trends and bold innovation in jazz performance. There will be a series of masterclasses/performance, which are free and open to public, that begin at 4 pm. All masterclasses/performances will be held in the acoustically impeccable Frances Bedford Concert Hall.

The Johannes Wallmann Quartet, whose music is described by DownBeat Magazine as a “stunning collage of jazz styles and genres,” kicks off the week with a masterclass at 4 pm. The next two days, March 7 and 8, feature a different quartet: the Pete McCann Quartet and Dana Hall Quartet, respectively. Jazz guitarist Pete McCann recently released an album Range that is described as radiating “a passion for today’s thriving, progressive jazz scene.” Dana Hall, a professor at DePaul University, is internationally known for his drumming. A frequent performer in Chicago, Hall’s most recent album, Into the Light, was ranked #8 on JazzWeek Top-50 and #3 on College Music Journal Top-40 Jazz charts.

The final day of Jazz Week, March 10, features masterclasses and performances by Parkside Faculty and students, joined by local high school bands. The UW-Parkside Jazz Faculty will perform at the BMO Harris Noon Concert. Following this performance, the UW-Parkside faculty will lead a masterclass at 1:00 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. that evening, UW-Parkside jazz students along with the Bradford, Indian Trail and Tremper High School Jazz ensembles will perform. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

The masterclasses/performances from Monday through Wednesday are funded through the generous support of the Uline Corporation. As they have done for several years, the Kenosha Community Foundation has generously underwritten the featured act during Jazz Week. Joining the Community Foundation as event sponsors for the Donny McCaslin Blackstar Quartet’s Kenosha appearances are: BMO Harris Bank (principal co-sponsor), Seymour and Associates S.C., the Kenosha Creative Space, and the HarborPark Jazz, Rhythm and Blues Festival (presented each year by the Mary Lou and Arthur F. Mahone Fund of the Kenosha Community Foundation.)

Parking for Jazz Week events is free in parking lots B & C adjacent to the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. For more information, contact the Rita Box Office at 262-595-2564.

For the complete schedule see: