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Press Release for Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wynton Marsalis Sells Out the UNF Fine Arts Center

Carl Holman

Marketing Director

UNF Fine Arts Center

(904) 620-1921,

UNF Fine Arts Center & Music Department Jazz up January


(Jacksonville, FL) – The sold-out performance of “the world’s greatest big band” – The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – capped off two weeks of incredible jazz presented at the University of North Florida Fine Arts Center.


Bringing his signature casual cool, Marsalis and his 15-member orchestra played classics from the American songbook, arrangements by jazz contemporaries of the band, and modern jazz renditions of traditional favorites to more than 1,300 people at the Lazzara Theatre on January 24th. The enthusiastic audience gave rousing welcomes when Marsalis introduced trombonist Vincent Gardner and trumpeter Marcus Printup, both alumni of UNF’s renowned jazz program. This concert was proudly sponsored by Winn-Dixie.


“Marcus Printup and Vince Gardner are the epitome of musical grace and professionalism and are a true reflection of the level and quality of music education at the University of North Florida,” said Dr. Gordon Brock, department chair. “We could not be more proud of these distinguished alumni.”


On January 23rd before the concert, the UNF Department of Music conducted two rousing matinees of “Swingin’ to the Beat,” a jazz education program for elementary and middle schoolers. Involving the UNF Jazz Ensemble I directed by Professor J.B. Scott, and jazz vocalist Lisa Kelly, this fun, interactive and informative presentation had kids boppin’ in their seats and swinging to the beat of America’s original art form. The children received a brief history lesson from Professor Scott about the genre’s roots in New Orleans to its transformation into Blues and Big Band Swing. After demonstrating their incredible vocal range, Professor Scott and Ms. Kelly engaged the students into doing a little scat singing and “hand-jive.” Instrumental solo and band sectional demonstrations showed the students the how a jazz ensemble works together.
The jazz festivities began on January 10th when the Fine Arts Center hosted a screening of Bruce Broder’s jazz documentary, CHOPS. The film chronicles the journey to Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival where 15 high school jazz bands from across North America get the chance to wow audiences and Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, with their interpretations of the work of the great Duke Ellington.


“These musical programs have been a wonderful showcase for the Fine Arts Center’s programming and the incredibly talented students, alumni, and faculty of UNF’s music department,” said Joseph Harris, executive director of the UNF Fine Arts Center.

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About The University of North Florida Fine Arts Center
Established in 2001, The University of Florida Fine Arts Center has built a rich tradition of showcasing an eclectic series of world-class performers, commercial entertainers, ethnic music and dance, cutting edge performances, and children’s programming as well as the premiere of new works to support upcoming artists. The Center’s goal is to enhance the academic programs of the University and to complement the cultural offerings within Jacksonville, building new audiences, and contributing to the quality of life and economic development of the city.

About the University of North Florida Department of Music
UNF's Department of Music is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The University of North Florida is home to one of the most recognized performance-based music programs in the country. With an emphasis on American Music and comprised of dedicated faculty members who are recognized artist/practitioners in their fields, UNF’s Department of Music offers a stimulating, yet personal atmosphere in which students can study and grow. The UNF Department of Music is a limited access and exclusively undergraduate program offering a B.M. in Jazz Studies and B.M. degrees in Performance with concentrations in Voice, Piano, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, and Strings. UNF also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Since its beginnings in 1972, the Department of Music’s limited access status has allowed for a more personal rapport between teacher and student while upholding the highest standards of musical excellence. The countless awards and endorsements that the Department has received and continues to receive is testament to the caliber of the UNF Department of Music as one of the very best anywhere.

About Winn-Dixie
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. is one of the nation's largest food retailers. Founded in 1925, the Company is headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. The Company currently operates 521 retail grocery locations including more than 400 in-store pharmacies in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. For more information, please visit