The Albuquerque/UNM Jazz Festival & New Mexico Jazz Workshop present Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra featuring saxophonist Jeff Coffin and UNM Jazz Band I featuring drummer Matt Wilson. The Albuquerque/UNM Jazz Festival is a 2 day event for Mid School and High School musicians from across New Mexico. It culminates in a Saturday evening concert that features the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, UNM Jazz Band I and the festival's guest clinicians.
Performing with UNM Jazz Band I, drummer Matt Wilson is a Grammy award nominee and one of todays most celebrated jazz artists. He is universally recognized for his musical and melodic drumming style as well as being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer, and teaching artist. Matt was featured on the covers of both Downbeat and JazzTimes magazines in November 2009 and was for 5 consecutive years voted #1 Rising Star Drummer in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll.
Saxophonist Jeff Coffin is a globally recognized musician, composer and educator, and author. He is a three-time Grammy award winner and former member (1997-2010) of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. In July 2008, Coffin began touring with Dave Mathews Band, and officially joined the group in 2009. Coffin also fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet and teaches improvisation and saxophone at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
Founded in 1982 by Pancho Romero, the 19-member Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra (AJO) has been delighting audiences throughout the Southwest for more than thirty years. For many years under the leadership of trombonist John Sanks, the band has had the opportunity to perform with an impressive list of guest artists, including Pete Christlieb, Jim Pugh, Scott Wendholt, John Fedchock, Wayne Bergeron, Butch Miles and jazz trumpet legend and Albuquerque native Bobby Shew, who served as the Musical Director of AJO from 2007 to 2010. Recently the AJO was honored to be a part of the 2010 New Mexico Jazz Festival, performing the music of Toshiko Akyioshi with Ms. Akyioshi conducting and Lew Tabackin as featured soloist. The personnel in the AJO features professional and semi-professional musicians, many of whom are public school and university educators: Glenn Kostur, Aaron Lovato, Lee Taylor, Diantha Swoboda, Paul Blakey, woodwinds; Derek Warren, Brad Dubbs, Henry Estrada, Kent Erickson, Bruce Dalby, trumpets; John Sanks, Ben Finberg, Chris Buckholz, Larry Wheeler, Bill Austell, trombones; Jim Ahrend, piano; Michael Anthony, guitar; Colin Deuble, bass; and Andy Poling, drums.