The First Annual Marfa Jazz Festival

The First Annual Marfa Jazz Festival

Greta Matessa by Tasha Owen

Greta Matessa by Tasha Owen

Padre’s Marfa, one of Texas’ most unique live music venues, presents the First Annual Marfa Jazz Festival, August 28-30, 2009. The first concert on Friday, August 28th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Crowley Theatre features the Latin Jazz of the Ruben Gutierrez Quartet, followed by acclaimed vocalist Greta Matassa from Seattle, Washington, with the Paul English Trio. The second concert on Saturday, August 29th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Crowley Theatre features the unique jazz ukulele and percussion of multi-instrumentalist Abe Lagrimas, Jr. from Honolulu, Hawaii, followed by the Paul English Trio with special guest David Caceres on saxophone and vocals. The concerts are $30 advance and $35 at the door and available now on the Padre’s Marfa website. On Sunday, August 30th at 12:00 noon there will be a jazz jam at Padre’s with free admission. Padre’s and the Crowley Theatre are located in close proximity on West El Paso Street in Marfa, Texas.

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Musician’s bios:

RUBEN GUTIERREZ is the Director of Commercial Music, Composition and Music Technology at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is active as a performer and educator, having performed with jazz legends Ernie Watts, Richie Cole, and the Harry James Orchestra. He has lectured extensively across the country on Latin jazz styles and Latin jazz history. Discography includes “Beveled Facets” released in 2001, “Reposado” featuring his trio in a live performance, and most recently a full-length DVD entitled “My Story” with his Latin jazz quartet. For the Marfa Jazz Festival Mr. Gutierrez will be accompanied by WILLIE HERNANDEZ on percussion, RICKY MALICHI on drums, and ERIK UNSWORTH on bass.

GRETA MATASSA has been called “A marvel of virtuosity” by the Los Angeles Times, “stratospherically gifted” by Earshot Jazz, and “One of America’s finest singers” by Jazz Review. She has been voted the Pacific Northwest’s “Vocalist of the Year” six times and has released seven CD’s including “The Smiling Hour,” “Favorites From A Long Walk”, and “All This and Heaven Too”. Her versatility as a performer is extraordinary, having been featured in tribute concerts to Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington. The Seattle Times noted: “Purists might argue there will never be another Ella or Billie. These cats have obviously never heard Greta Matassa!” She is also in demand as a teacher of jazz workshops. She is the mother of two daughters. For the Marfa Jazz Festival Greta will be accompanied by the Paul English Trio featuring Paul English on keyboards, Rob Kazenel on drums, and Jim Kalson on bass.

PAUL ENGLISH is a prolific and versatile composer, has performed with a “Who’s Who” of music legends including Dizzy Gillespie and Willie Nelson, has appeared on over 350 records, and is acclaimed as an outstanding music educator. The past year Paul served as Interim Director of Jazz Studies at Texas Tech University. Alumni of the high-spirited Paul English Group of the 1980’s include Kirk Whalum and Dwight Sills. ROB KAZENEL is a native of Montreal, Canada and is in demand as a studio and concert musician throughout Texas and beyond. JIM KALSON has been a professional bass player since the age of thirteen. Jim served as an Electric Bass Instructor at the University of Texas at San Antonio for twelve years and now teaches at St. Mary’s University.

ABE LAGRIMAS, JR. was born in Guam and grew up in Hawaii. He is a 2005 graduate of the esteemed Berklee College of Music and was a recipient of the school’s prestigious North American World Tour Scholarship. He is an extraordinary percussionist and composer, and is equally proficient on vibraphone, piano, guitar, and ukulele. Honolulu Magazine calls him “skilled, sophisticated, and polished”. He has been a featured artist at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He has won numerous musical awards in Hawaii and beyond and is a member of PRELUDE, Korea’s most popular jazz group. Abe Lagrimas Jr. is considered one of the world’s top up-and-coming jazz musicians. For the Marfa Jazz Festival Abe will be featured on ukulele as well as other instruments.

DAVID CACERES is one of the most sought-after jazz musicians in Texas. He comes from a Texas family with rich musical traditions. His grandfather, jazz violinist Emilio Caceres, led a famous swing orchestra in San Antonio in the 1930’s and 1940’s. David is equally gifted as a saxophonist and vocalist and graduated from Boston’s Berklee School of Music. He has performed in Jazz Festivals all over the world, has taught at the High School for the Performing Arts and the University of Houston, and has released numerous critically acclaimed CD’s. He also performed on La Mafia’s Grammy award winning “Un Million de Rosas”. David divides his time between New York City and Texas.

FATHER BILL MILLER is the producer of the Marfa Jazz Festival. A native Texan, founding partner of Padre’s Marfa, and an Episcopal priest, he now lives on the island of Kauai with his dog Nawiliwili Nelson. He is the author of a popular book “The Gospel According to Sam: Animal Stories for the Soul”. He has founded three jazz festivals over the last 15 years including the Jazz At St. James Festival in Austin, Texas, the Trinity Jazz Festival in Houston, Texas, and the All Angels Jazz Festival on Kauai. He has collaborated with Paul English to create ten unique and critically acclaimed Jazz Masses featuring the sacred music of Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and others.

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