DETROIT (October 31, 2012) —The Wayne State University Department of Music is pleased to announce “Celebrating Women in Jazz,” a concert featuring works by iconic female jazz composers, with guest artists Ursula Walker, Ellen Rowe, Marion Hayden, and Gayelynn McKinney, with the Wayne State Big Band. The performance is part of the popular “Mondays at the Max with Wayne State” concert series, which provides a world-class venue for student performances and enhances community engagement between Wayne State and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Conductor Chris Collins, Professor and Director of Jazz Studies, describes it as “an evening not to be missed—this concert brings together significant musicians from our region to celebrate the contributions they and other women have made to jazz, Americas greatest art-form.” The concert will also include award-winning arrangements by Wayne State jazz students and surprise guests.
The four guest artists are all mainstays of Detroit’s rich jazz world. Ursula Walker has been active in the Detroit music world since the age of eleven on Detroit television and radio. She recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Detroit Black Music Awards, honoring her 60-year career as a jazz vocalist in Detroit. Composer and arranger Ellen Rowe is a faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Music, where she is Associate Professor of Jazz Piano, Chair of the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation, and directs the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble. Detroit native Marion Hayden is one of few female bassists in the professional jazz world. Her musical versatility has led Hayden to perform with area classical and jazz legends as well as teaching at University of Michigan and in the annual J.C Heard Jazz Week at Wayne. Hayden is a member of Detroit’s Grammy-nominated, all-female, jazz combo Straight Ahead, along with percussionist Gayelynn McKinney. McKinney, born into a Detroit jazz family, began playing the drums at age two and has been performing since. She has played in jazz festivals around the world and currently performs workshops for percussion students at all levels.
Tickets are available at the DSO box office: $15 for adults, $10 for students, and $5 for WSU students (with OneCard). Friends of Music and DSO Civic Youth Ensemble Families receive a 50 percent discount. Discounted tickets must be purchased at DSO box office. Regularly priced tickets are available at dso.org or by calling 313-576-5111.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Box.
Founded in 1918, the Wayne State University Department of Music cultivates music as a contemporary and global art, grounded in a long historical tradition, by combining higher education with professional training and experience for its undergraduate and graduate/professional students. Building on the strengths of its geographic and cultural setting, the department maintains public access to its performances and degree programs, high-level professional and academic standards, and unique creative and scholarly opportunities appropriate to a large research university, and cultivates a deep aesthetic understanding of music in students and the larger urban arts community.