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WRITER: ALEX CAREY
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: Jan. 26, 2001

Jazz vocalist Jackie Allen will perform with UI jazz bands at Valentine's Day Dance

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Chicago-based jazz vocalist Jackie Allen and bassist Hans Sturm will perform with the University of Iowa Johnson County Landmark big band and the Jazz Lab Band for the third annual "Got Love? Valentine’s Day Dance," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14 in the Iowa Memorial Union Main Ballroom.

The alcohol-free dance is sponsored by Arts Share, the Associated Residence Halls, the UI jazz department and the Stepping Up Project, a community and campus coalition to reduce high-risk drinking and its harmful effects. Free snacks will be provided during the dance.

Before the dance begins, free dance lessons will be offered in the Ballroom, starting at 7 p.m. The lessons will be taught by Kathy Burnett, a graduate student in the UI dance department.

Jackie Allen is one of Chicago’s most influential and respected jazz educators. A popular and inspiring jazz vocal instructor at the Old Town School of Folk Music for more than six years, she is frequently featured with university jazz ensembles as a guest performer and clinician. In Chicago, she sings at downtown’s Lush Life and performs regularly in clubs including Andy’s, Pops for Champagne, The Green Mill and Pete Miller’s.

An extremely versatile bassist who performs new music, classical bass and jazz, Sturm teaches at Ball State University. A former student of jazz virtuoso Richard Davis and international concert artist Jeff Bradetich, he has performed in Europe, Japan, Brazil and the United States.

Allen and Sturm appeared together at the 1998 International Bass Festival. Their performance was the event’s sensation and earned the two a recording contract, as well as a return engagement at the 1999 festival. They recently collaborated on the album "Landscapes -- Bass Meets Voice."

Allen will perform the standard "Orange Colored Sky," arranged by Roger Holmes, and the jazz waltz "Teach Me a Song," with the Jazz Lab Band. With JCL she will sing "The Very Thought of You," "You Could Be Fred" and "In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down)," arranged by Frank Mantooth.

Sturm will be featured in the Jazz Lab Band’s renditions of "Rocket Surgery" and "Angel Eyes." He will perform with the JCL on "Tricotism" and "Subterranean." Allen and Sturm will also perform with members of the UI jazz faculty.

"This is one of those events that a music educator delights in," said John Rapson, who heads the UI School of Music’s jazz program and directs both JCL and the Jazz Lab Band. "On the one hand, this music provides the very best training material for young musicians to learn precision and Rhythmic ‘feel’ by acquainting them with the classic repertoire of jazz. On the other hand, the context is recreational and informal, which makes it fun to share with a larger, inter-generational audience. That it meets common goals with the Stepping Up Project and Arts Share is just icing on the cake."

A major ensemble in the UI School of Music jazz program, JCL is a repertory ensemble devoted to the performance of original compositions by jazz masters. JCL has the standard big-band instrumentation, with full sections of reed, brass and rhythm instruments. It is made up largely of students in the UI School of Music majoring in performance or in the jazz area.

The Jazz Lab Band is a student ensemble featuring instrumentation of the swing band and big band eras. The group’s repertoire combines classic works from the jazz stars of the '20s, '30s and '40s with contemporary big band charts and arrangements representing the works of diverse artists.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A composer and trombonist who records for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, his work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. Jazziz called his experimental jazz recording "Dances and Orations" "one of the most vital CDs to come around in a long time." The Independent’s Josef Woodard hailed it "a conceptual and musical triumph."

Tickets are $3 for students with ID, $5 for the general public, and will be available at the University Box Office in the Iowa Memorial Union beginning Jan. 29. Contact the box office at 319-335-3041 or toll-free 800-346-4401. The fax number is 319-335-3407. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 5-9 p.m. Sunday. In addition to cash and checks, the University Box Office accepts MasterCard, Visa , American Express and Discover cards.

The School of Music and Dance Department are part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

Arts Share is a UI program that provides artistic expertise from the Iowa Center for the Arts to schools, local art councils, community arts associations, museums, senior citizen centers and other organizations throughout Iowa and the surrounding region. The Arts Share roster of touring artists includes nearly 100 faculty members, ensembles and graduate students in the performing, visual and literary arts.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

The goal of the Stepping Up Project is to change the environment that encourages high-risk drinking. The organization offers activities for students that do not involve alcohol, supports local police efforts to enforce the minimum drinking age law and works to revitalize Iowa City so that families, seniors and non-drinkers may enjoy the same social choices as drinkers currently find downtown. For more information visit the project’s web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~stepping, or call 353-2529 or 335-1349.