PULLMAN, Wash. — New York guitarist Gary Wittner will join Washington State University jazz ensembles in a concert Tuesday, April 6, on the WSU campus.
The 8 p.m. program at Bryan Hall Auditorium is open to the public without charge.
Wittner, who earned his master’s degree in music from WSU in 1986, is recognized as an authority on the music of Thelonious Monk. He regularly travels throughout the United States and Europe giving presentations on Monk’s music. Wittner has appeared in concert with Clark Terry, Reggie Workman, Eddie Gomez, Richard Davis and others. His book of Monk transcriptions for guitar was recently published by the Hal Leonard Corporation.
The concert opens with the WSU VOJAZZ vocal jazz ensemble under the direction of Horace-Alexander Young. Wittner will be featured with the group on a Duke Ellington medley that will be performed in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ellington’s birth. Wittner will perform with members of Jazz Northwest and the WSU faculty jazz group. He also will be featured with the WSU Jazz Big Band under the direction of Gregory Yasinitsky. The band and Wittner will perform Yasinitsky’s arrangement of Monk’s “I Mean You.”
The band also will perform “B.J.,” a new, award-winning composition written by Eric Skidmore, the ensemble’s lead alto saxophonist. “B.J.” was selected as the Outstanding Instrumental Composition at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho in February.
Wittner’s appearance at WSU is funded in part by a grant from the WSU Visual, Literary and Performing Arts Committee.