UVM Students to Perform with Cuban Jazz Legend

Any professional musician would jump at the chance to perform with Cuban jazz legend Paquito D’Rivera. But for 27 student-musicians at the University of Vermont, the rare opportunity to learn and perform with this world-class musician is a vital step on the educational path that leads from technical competence to artistry. The UVM Jazz Ensemble will take the Flynn Center MainStage with Grammy-award winner D’Rivera on Saturday, April 26, at 8 p.m. Under the direction of Alex Stewart, UVM assistant professor of music, the ensemble will perform with D’Rivera and his acclaimed Quintet for the first half of the show, and return to the stage for a grand finale. “As far as I know, this is the first time a UVM student instrumental group has performed on the Flynn MainStage,” said Stewart. But the complex rhythms of Latin Jazz are already familiar to several of the student-musicians Stewart for a two-week educational and cultural exchange in January. “Now they can apply what they learned,” said Stewart. “It’s not only about playing the music, but also about understanding its cultural roots.” Although best known for his explosive mixture of jazz, rock and traditional Cuban music, D’Rivera’s international inspirations also encompass the music of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. He formerly led a jazz group called the United Nations Orchestra, and has assembled the talented players in his current Quintet from Argentina, Peru, Israel and the United States. During his two-day residency in Vermont, D’Rivera will lead a dress rehearsal with the UVM Jazz Ensemble Friday, April 25, at 7 p.m. in room 301, Southwick. He also will lead a Latin Jazz master class at the Flynn with the UVM Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble and FlynnArts Jazz Combo on Saturday, April 26, at 2 p.m. The class is full, but observers may attend for a $7 fee at the door. The Paquito D’Rivera Quintet is presented by the Flynn with support from the UVM Department of Music, Initiatives on Diversity, Lane Series and Office of International Education. Tickets are priced at $24, $19 and $14 and are available at the Flynn ticket office. Call 863-5966 or go to www.flynncenter.org. A limited number of tickets have been discounted to $7 for UVM students only and are available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling Alex Stewart at 656-7766. -Press Release