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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2003
CONTACT: Jette Englund
Office of University Relations
(908) 527-3410

Kean University's Wilkins Theatre Raises the Curtain for "Jazz Pictures" Featuring Kean Affiliate Artist Andy Fusco and the Walt Weiskopf Sextet.

UNION, N.J. – Stay tuned for a unique jazz experience in Kean University’s newly remodeled Wilkins Theatre. Renowned jazz musicians will present a concert, Jazz Pictures, on Thursday, December 11, at 8 p.m. in the 950-seat theatre on the main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J.

The program, reflecting great art, will feature Kean’s affiliate artist in saxophone and jazz, Andy Fusco, who will present the eminent Walt Weiskopf Sextet, of which Fusco is a member. The concert is the second in this year’s Affiliate Artist Concert Series. It will feature a single composition, Weiskopf’s Sight to Sound, made possible by a grant from Chamber Music America’s New Works Creation and Presentation Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Sight to Sound is a multi-movement work with each section reflecting a famous artist or aspect of the graphic arts. The movement titles are: Salvador [for Dali]; Pablo [for Picasso]; Sight, Sound, Vincent [for Van Gogh], Canvas, Toulouse [for Henri Toulouse-Lautrec]; and Camille [for Pissarro]. The use of first or nicknames as movement titles is a reflection of a practice in the jazz community of identifying great musicians with only their colorful first names, like Dizzy, Miles, Ornette and Thelonius. Sight to Sound will be performed as a multi-media presentation; images and great art, appropriate to each musical section, will be projected as the band plays.

“Walt” and “Andy” are also musicians of the highest caliber, and Weiskopf, a tenor saxophonist, is famous in other than jazz circles. He tours regularly with Steely Dan. Recognized as composer and teacher, Weiskopf has received three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to Fund New York performances of his music. He has given clinics and concerts at the Paris Conservatory, the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich, Germany, and at a number of outstanding music schools in the United States. He has lectured and coached at the Manhattan School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, The Aaron Copland School of Music, and is currently on the faculty at New Jersey City University.

Fusco, in addition to being an affiliate artist at Kean where he runs its jazz program, is the leader of several of his own jazz ensembles, and he also performs with the John Pizzarelli Octet, well known for it Foxwoods Casino commercial and CD. Fusco first came to fame as a member of the Buddy Rich Big Band. From 1978 to 1983, he was the lead alto saxophonist of the band and has since toured with a number of esteemed performers including Gerry Mulligan, Mel Lewis and Frank Sinatra.

Weiskopf and Fusco are linked in a number of ways. They are both internationally acclaimed. Weiskopf credits Fusco as being a mentor and an important influence. Both performed with Buddy Rich. They often perform in small ensembles together, and both musicians have CDs that have been awarded 4 ½-star reviews in Down Beat Magazine.

Admission is $10, and tickets are available at the door and from the Wilkins Theatre Box Office at 908-737-SHOW (7469). Discounts are available for students, alumni, faculty, staff and seniors.