The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

April 2, 2004

Vibraphonist Mainieri, UI Voices Of Soul Perform With Percussion Ensemble April 18

Veteran jazz vibraphonist Mike Mainieri (left) and the University of Iowa Voices of Soul will appear as a guest artists with the UI Percussion Ensemble in a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 18 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

One of the most active performing groups at the UI School of Music, the Percussion Ensemble is directed by Dan Moore, head of the percussion area in the School of Music. The group presents concerts and educational programs on campus and across Iowa.

Voices of Soul, directed by Ron Teague, is a UI student organization dedicated to keeping the heritage of music rooted in African and African-American traditions alive and well in Iowa City. The group has more than 40 members and stages a number of local performances each year. Together with the Percussion Ensemble, they will perform a Jazz Crusaders composition, "Healing Coming On."

Primarily recognized as an award-winning jazz vibraphonist, Manieri has followed a remarkable career spanning nearly 50 years and including work as a player, producer, arranger and composer. Leader of the group Steps Ahead, Mainieri has collaborated with the world's most formidable jazz artists, produced numerous albums and discovered a host of innovative young talent.

For the April 18 concert, Mainieri will perform four of his own works with the UI Percussion Ensemble -- "Beirut," "Oops," "Safari" and "Bamboo," He will also play a solo vibraphone program, to be announced from the stage.

The Percussion Ensemble will also play "Graceful Ghost" by William Bolcom, a quiet rag for mallet ensemble, and "Phase Dance," a Pat Metheny classic from the 1970s arranged for large percussion ensemble.

"We are fortunate to have the funds to bring in an artist of Mainieri's caliber to perform and work with our students, and to offer the performance to the public free of charge," Moore commented. "He is a legendary jazz performer and our students will gain much through working with him."

Raised in a family of performers and musicians, Mainieri began music training at an early age. At 14 his own jazz trio was touring with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra; by 17 he was playing and arranging for Buddy Rich's sextet -- a tenure that continued until 1962. During this period, Mainieri also played with legendary jazz artists including Billie Holliday, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins and Wes Montgomery. At the age of 18, he won the International Jazz Critic's Award.

As a solo artist, Mainieri has created and contributed to many forward-looking artistic endeavors. In 1962 he joined the ground-breaking jazz/rock group Jeremy & The Satyrs, led by flutist Jeremy Steig. The Satyrs jammed at New York's Club Go Go and performed with Frank Zappa, Richie Havens and Jimi Hendrix, among others. During the late '60s, this small circle of performers grew into what became known as the White Elephant Orchestra, a 20-piece, all-star, experimental ensemble. Under Mainieri's direction, this jazz/rock big band evolved into a laboratory for experimentation with various musical forms, ideas, and philosophies.

In the late '70s, Mainieri founded the pioneering jazz/fusion group Steps Ahead. Delving into contemporary sounds while maintaining experimentation and compositional integrity, Steps Ahead was and is a launching-pad for new musical ideas.

As a composer, arranger and performer, Mainieri has contributed to more than 100 gold and platinum albums. Also active in the rock and pop scenes, he has worked with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Janis Ian, James Taylor, Dire Straits and Bonnie Raitt. Mainieri's numerous solo CDs are available on the NYC Records label.

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion, and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, including keyboard percussion, drum set, ethnic and multi-percussion, he is considered a "total percussionist."

In 1998 Moore received a grant from the UI Central Investment Fund for Research Excellence to produce a CD of his arrangements of the Percussion Pops music of legendary percussionist Dick Schory, a pioneer of the contemporary percussion ensemble. "Percussion Pops 2000 presents Jungle Fever: The Music of Dick Schory" was recorded by the UI Recording Studios and released in 1999.

Moore joined the UI music faculty in 1996. Only the second full-time professor of percussion at the UI, he succeeded Thomas L. Davis, who taught percussion at the UI for more than 35 years. He is a performing artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America, Sabian Ltd., and Innovative Percussion. He has written for Jazz Player, Sticks and Mallets and Percussive Notes magazines.

Formed in 1958, the UI Percussion Ensemble performs musical styles ranging from ragtime and jazz to 20th century concert idioms and traditional musical styles from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. In addition to the standard percussion repertoire, the ensemble regularly performs the newest music written by both professional composers and students.

With an extensive array of instruments -- from traditional drums, xylophones and cymbals to just about anything that can be struck, scraped, shaken or smashed together -- Percussion Ensemble performances are known for their variety and fast-paced programming, presented with humor, drama and old-fashioned showmanship.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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 ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa/photos.html.