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University of Iowa News Release

July 23, 2004

UI Museum Of Art Inaugurates Friday Night Jazz Series Aug. 6

The University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) will inaugurate a series of "Jazz Night" performances on the first Friday of each month with a concert by Iowa City jazz pianist Dan Knight at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6.

The performances will be in the Nancy and Craig Willis Atrium of the museum. Knight, who has a longstanding relationship with the Museum of Art, will also play on Fridays Sept. 3, Oct. 1 and Nov. 5. Other jazz artists will play on first Fridays that Knight is not in the museum.

"I have always yearned to perform regularly in an intimate space, on a Steinway piano, where the acoustics were good, where listeners could come and have a glass of wine and a light snack, and where the focus would be great, acoustic music," Knight commented. "The new atrium at the UIMA is that perfect space, and with light snacks provided by the UIMA and a cash bar, the rest of the dream has come true as well.

"I'm happy to be making the first Fridays of each month the only place where I'll be doing regular public performances in the Iowa City area. With the support of the public, this will be my musical 'home' for a long time to come."

Knight has often played in the museum. In 1999 he recorded and released a CD of music inspired by nine paintings in the museum's permanent collection, "Pictures at an Exhibition," and he played in the UIMA twice during the spring semester of 2004.

A Steinway Artist as well as a composer, educator and a respected improviser, Knight became interested in both keyboard instruments and jazz when he was only four years old. Over the years, he has built a worldwide reputation. A protege of pianist and jazz legend Billy Taylor, he has performed with many well-known musicians including saxophonist Bobby Watson and trumpeter/composer Wynton Marsalis. His worldwide firsts include performances for an unprecedented three consecutive years at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Claude Nobs, founder and artistic director of the Montreux Jazz Festival said "Knight is incontestably one of the finest solo pianists in the world. (He) is quietly establishing a place for himself among the masters of jazz piano." And Sonny Rollins said simply, "Man, you're great!"

Iowa Public Television has featured Knight, describing him as "a jazz pianist in the tradition of Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson and his mentor, Dr. Billy Taylor. . . As a composer and improviser, Dan Knight continues to extend the boundaries of style and composition in his performances of classical music, jazz and free improvisation."

Knight has made several CD recordings for After Hours Recordings, including "Dan Knight and the La Fosse Jazz Trio: Live from Studio III," recorded with the late UI violin faculty member Leopold La Fosse; "Dan Knight: Montreux"; "Dan Knight: Do You Hear What I Hear"; "Dan Knight Duo: Live at Riverside Theatre"; and "Dan Knight Quartet: Live at the Cottonwood Club."

More information on Knight is available at his web page, www.danknight.com.

Admission to UIMA is free. Admission to the performance -- $5 for museum members and $10 for non-members -- will be collected at the door of the Nancy and Craig Willis Atrium. There will be light refreshments and a cash bar available in the atrium during the performance.

Museum memberships are available for contributions of $25 or more. Contributions support exhibitions, programs and acquisitions by the museum. For further information, contact the museum's membership coordinator, Buffie Tucker, at (319) 353-2847 or by email at buffie-tucker@uiowa.edu .

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open noon to 9 p.m. Fridays. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima on the World Wide Web. Information on other UI arts events is available at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. 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.