CONTACT: VANESSA SHELTON
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Sesquicentennial and Black History Month concert features jazz pianist
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jazz pianist James Williams will perform with the University
of Iowa's gospel choir Voices of Soul Thursday, Feb. 20, in a free concert
held in observance of the UI's Sesquicentennial Celebration and Black History
The concert, scheduled at 8 p.m. in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial
Union, is open to the public. Tickets are needed for admission and are available
at the IMU Box Office, which is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., and
Sunday, 6 - 9 p.m.
No stranger to the music scene, Williams and his band, the Intensive Care
Unit (ICU), draw from blues and spirituals to "re-synthesize" jazz
with a gospel and R and B feel. Williams has played with such legends as Art
Blakey's Jazz Messengers, which also enlisted the talents of trumpeter Wynton
Marsalis, Milt Jackson, Tal Farlow, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton,
and Dizzy Gillespie.
In 1978 Williams began a solo career with his band ICU, currently showcasing
the talents of saxophonist Steve Wilson, bassist John Lockwood, drummer Yoron
Israel, and vocalists Roger Holland and Marion Cowings. The members of ICU
have recorded with musicians such as Max Roach, Stevie Wonder, Dizzy Gillespie,
Kenny Burrell, and the Boy's Choir of Harlem.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Williams received a music education degree from
Memphis State University. At 22, he became a music instructor at Berklee College
of Music in Boston, where he formed the Contemporary Piano Ensemble.
Voices of Soul is a UI student organization dedicated to keeping the heritage
of music rooted in African and African-American traditions alive and well
in the Iowa City community. Much more than just a gospel choir, the group
has more than 40 members and stages a number of local performances each year.
The concert is sponsored by the Office of Campus Programs and Student Activities
and the Student Commission on Programming and Entertainment (SCOPE). Persons
with disabilities who are in need of accommodations in order to participate
should contact the Office of Campus Programs at (319) 335-3059.