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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: June 3, 2002

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

NEW JAZZ TRIO IN ‘BREATH OF ART’ SERIES JUNE 14 -- Standard AIR, a new jazz trio from the University of Iowa School of Music, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 14 in the University of Iowa Museum of Art as part of the “Breath of Art” series of musical performances at the museum.

Admission is free to the museum and to all “Breath of Art” performances.

The members of Standard AIR are Anton Hatwich, upright bass, Ira (John) Rapson, trombone, Robert Paredes, clarinet. The group takes its name from the first initial of the three players first names: Anton, Ira and Robert. Rapson, who is known to local jazz fans as John -- which he has used professionally -- decided to use Ira, his given first name, to create the group’s name.

The acoustic trio concentrates on jazz standards that are sometimes neglected in the repertoire and on material that allows them to capitalize on their unusual instrumentation. “We like to play Ellington and Mingus because they both favor a sound and range that let the clarinet, bass and trombone speak,” Rapson says.

“Bob plays both clarinet and alto saxophone, while I have six mutes that I choose from, giving us the

option to make the color of our instruments as important to the performance as the melody and the harmony.”

“The group was originally founded as a vehicle for us to just rummage through the standards book and play for our own enjoyment. And because we don't have a standard rhythm section, the context left a lot of room for everyone to solo with space to play very quietly and in every range of our instruments.”

Standards on the program will include “When Lights are Low” and “Bye, Bye Blackbird.” There will also be a number of ballads from the Ellington tradition ranging from the very early “Mood Indigo” to the later “Fleur Africaine,” as well as “Warm Valley” and “Echoes of Harlem.”

The trio will also play some bluesy Mingus tunes like “Jelly Roll” and “Nostalgia in Times Square,” and contrast these with a lesser-known Tom Jobim bossa nova called “If You Never Come to Me.”

Hatwich is a graduate of the UI School of Music and a visiting faculty member at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon. He has performed classical, jazz and contemporary music with a variety of ensembles.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. His recent experimental jazz recording “Dances and Orations” has been hailed as “one of the most vital CDs to come around in a long time” in Jazziz and as “a conceptual and musical triumph” by Josef Woodard in the Independent. The CD scored 10 out of 10 for artistic merit in Grammophone magazine’s “Good CD Guide” for jazz recordings, which also called it “beautiful and unique.”

Previous albums under Rapson’s direction are “Bing” for Sound Aspects, and “Buwah” and “Deeba dah bwee” for Nine Winds. He has also recorded “A Mingus Among Us” and “Been There, Done That” with Johnson County Landmark.

Paredes has been described as “one of the hidden greats of the American experimental tradition.” He received a doctorate in composition from the UI after studies with the experimental composer Kenneth Gaburo, and has been and Artist-in-Residence at several schools and organizations. He is an experienced jazz and studio musician, an accomplished Klezmer clarinetist, and a former member of the Harry Partch Ensemble.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for public events at the UI Museum of Art during the 2001-02 season, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The UI Arts Share program provides artistic resources from the Iowa Center for the Arts to schools and community organizations. Arts Share is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information, call director Diane Kenney Handler at (319) 335-1618 or send an e-mail to <d-kenney-handler@uiowa.edu>.

The UI Museum of Art is located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit < http://www.uiowa.edu/uima > on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at < http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa >. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact < deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu >.