Rochester International Jazz Festival - Eastman School of Music Jazz Scholarship Concert
This year’s presentation will be opened by “Würzburg Meets Eastman”, an ensemble comprised of a combination of Eastman Jazz students as well as students from The Hochschule für Musik Würzburg Ensemble, part of the University of Music Würzburg in Germany. As part of a three-year sister-city school initiative, this performance is the culmination of the students' exchange program. The ensemble will play music of Mary Paich, written for Art Pepper as heard on the seminal 1959 recording Art Petter +11 and conducted by Jeff Campbell. Following “Würzburg Meets Eastman” will be a performance by the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Directed by Bill Dobbins.
Eastman Jazz Ensemble
The Eastman Jazz Ensemble has been recognized as one of the world’s premier collegiate jazz performing organizations for three decades. Years before Eastman alumnus Chuck Mangione became the ensemble’s first faculty director, the band was established and governed by Eastman student musicians. In 1970, former Radio City Music Hall musical director Rayburn Wright was hired to develop the Eastman jazz studies and contemporary media program and in 1972 he succeeded Mangione as director of the Jazz Ensemble. Bill Dobbins, who led the group from 1989 to 1994, returned to the position in 2002 after an eight-year tenure as principal director of the WDR Radio Big Band in Cologne, Germany. Fred Sturm served as director from 1995 to 2002. The Eastman Jazz Ensemble has frequently received the award for “Best Big Band” in the Annual Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards, most recently in 2000. It has frequently been featured at the Annual Conference of the International Association of Jazz Educators, most recently in New York City in 2001. The group has performed at the International Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland and in renowned concert halls throughout the world. In January 2015, the ensemble performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at New York’s Lincoln Center, presenting a Billy Strayhorn tribute during the Strayhorn centennial year. Guest performers and conductors with the group have included such highly acclamed jazz artists as Bill Holman, Clare Fischer, Bob Brookmeyer, Benny Carter, Benny Golson, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Wheeler, and Phil Woods.
Bill Dobbins is professor of jazz studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he teaches the jazz composing and arranging courses and directs the award winning Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Eastman Studio Orchestra. As a pianist, he has performed with orchestra and chamber ensembles under the direction of Louis Lane, Pierre Boulez, Lukas Foss and Frederick Fennell, and he has performed and recorded with such jazz artists as Clark Terry, Al Cohn, Red Mitchell, Phil Woods, Bill Goodwin, Gary Foster, Dave Liebman, John Goldsby and Peter Erskine. He joined the Eastman faculty in 1973, and was instrumental in designing both the graduate and undergraduate curricula for Eastman’s Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media program. Many of his students have been heard in the big bands of Count Basie, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Chuck Mangione, Maria Schneider, and Bob Brookmeyer’s New Art Orchestra.
From 1994 through 2002 Mr. Dobbins was principal director of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany, and he headed the jazz studies department at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne from 1998 to 2002. Concert, radio, television and tour projects under his direction with the WDR Big Band included internationally acclaimed soloists Clark Terry, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, Kevin Mahogany, Art Farmer, Steve Lacy, Paquito D’Rivera, Mark Feldman, Gary Foster, Clare Fischer, Peter Erskine, Nicolas Simion and the Kings Singers. As guest director, he continues to write and direct programs for the WDR Big Band, the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.
Advance Music publishes Mr. Dobbins’ compositions and arrangements for big band, chamber music combinations and solo piano. Jazz education programs worldwide have adopted his volumes of transcriptions of classic jazz piano solos and jazz textbooks for use in their courses.These include Chick Corea: Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, Herbie Hancock: Classic Jazz Compositions and Piano Solos, Clare Fischer: Alone Together/Just Me, Jazz Arranging and Composing: a Linear Approach, A Creative Approach to Jazz Piano Harmony, How to Play Piano in a Big Band, Composing and Arranging for the Contemporary Big Band,Conversations with Bill Holman: Thoughts and Recollections of a Jazz Master, and a DVD, The Evolution of Solo Jazz Piano. Recent CDs include J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio, with the Kings Singers and the WDR Big Band, arranged and conducted by Bill Dobbins (Signum Classics), Balkan Jazz, with Nicolas Simion and the WDR Big Band, arranged and directed by Bill Dobbins (Big Band records) and Composers Series (solo piano): Volume 1 – music of Clare Fischer and George Gershwin, and Volume 2 – music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn (Sons of Sound).
Democracy's Hypocrisy, Dave's latest recording is set for release in March 2020 and will feature Andy Milne, Matt Wilson, and Ben Allison. Currently the lead altoist for the Count Basie Orchestra, and a veteran of the Clark Terry quintet, the Count Basie Orchestra (under the direction of Frank Foster), Illinois Jacquet, Barry Harris, and Dizzy Gillespie, Dave's music transcends genre and covers a wide range of expression while remaining connected to the roots of Jazz.
A faculty member at the New School for over 23 years, he is proud to have helped develop many of today’s younger jazz musicians. In gratitude to wisdom bestowed from elder musicians, he is tirelessly continuing the tradition of mentoring future musicians by remaining actively involved in sharing knowledge, inspiring, and mentoring through the aural tradition.
Dave Glasser received his Bachelors(84) and Masters(86) degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, is a proud alumni of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts in NYC, and received extensive instruction from Lee Konitz, Frank Perowsky, Barry Harris, and Bill Dobbins.