Free jazz concert with master of the harmonica, Howard Levy, Feb. 11

The UW-Green Bahoward levy picy Jazz Society is sponsoring a free concert with world class harmonica player Howard Levy on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 in Theatre Hall, UW-Green Bay. It is open to the public. Levy is a Grammy award-winning artist and one of the founding members of the well known jazz group Béla Fleck and the Fleck Tones. He is a favorite with audiences worldwide, and a recording artist sought after by the likes of Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, Paquito D’Rivera, Styx, Donald Fagen and Paul Simon. This concert is made possible by the student organization Jazz Society. Levy will be working with UW-Green Bay Music students for a master class on Feb. 12.


UW-Green Bay’s Jazz Fest 47 features The Ryan Frane Trio and Green Bay Jazz Orchestra

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s music tradition Jazz Fest will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 in the Cofrin Family Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. It is the 47th annual jazz musical festival at the University. The event will feature The Ryan Frane Trio and the Green Bay Jazz Orchestra.

Since its inception more than four decades ago, UW-Green Bay’s Jazz Fest has drawn middle- and high-school students from across the region for a day of ensemble performances and clinic and master clinic sessions. This concert will feature a few of the top area high school groups with judge-soloists, followed by a professional big band of the very best jazz musicians in Northeast Wisconsin.

This year, Jazz Bands from Evansville, Green Bay East, Shawano, West De Pere, Denmark and Two Rivers high schools, as well as Pulaski Middle School, will perform. The Ryan Frane Trio features Mike Baker on drums and UW-Green Bay alumni musicians Ryan Frane on piano and Mike Rens on bass. The newly formed Green Bay Jazz Orchestra will be playing the music and arrangements of UW-Green Bay music professor and alumnus John Salerno.

Tickets for Jazz Fest 47 are $14 in advance and $17 at the door. The event is free for all students. For additional ticket information, call (920) 465-2400 or visit

Green Bay Jazz Orchestra members

Ken Barite, Laurie DeVillers, José Encarnación, Jennifer Johnson, Steve Johnson, Tim Albright, Eric High, Nick Keelan, Andy Zippered, John Daniel, Adam Gaines, Marty Robinson, Brent Turney, Mark Urness, Mike Malone, Bill Salak, Stefan Hall, Frank Salermo and Rissel Peguero.

Adjudicators and soloists for the event

John Daniel, Tim Albright and José Encarnación, Lawrence University; Adam Gaines, UW-Green Bay; Steve Johnson, freelance artist, Green Bay and Marty Robinson, UW-Oshkosh.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,700 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit




Get ready for UW-Green Bay Jazz Fest 47

Jazz Fest 47 will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 in the Cofrin Family Hall of the Weidner Center. This concert will feature a few of the top area high school groups with judge-soloists, followed by professional big band, The Ryan Frane Trio. The event is free for students, $14 in advance and $17 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the University Ticketing and Information Center, online at or by calling 920-465-2400. See more.

Jazz Ensemble, Special Guest Anibal Rojas to Hold Public Concert March 24

GREEN BAY – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music program will spotlight student Jazz Ensemble I and special guest saxophone soloist Anibal Rojas in a public concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the University Theatre in Theatre Hall.

Thursday’s concert begins with music by UW-Green Bay’s top student group, Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Associate Prof. Adam Gaines. The ensemble will kick off the show with “Slam” by Marcus Miller. The group will then play “Footprints” (Wayne Shorter), “Moment’s Notice” (John Coltrane), “Housewife From New Jersey” (Tim Hagans), “Doodle Oodle” (Billy Byers), “Weird Blues” (Bob Mintzer) “Cabauza” (Michael Mossman) and conclude with “Big Dipper” (Thad Jones). Joining the Jazz Ensemble in the third tune will be special guest Anibal Rojas.

Anibal Rojas is a saxophonist with indigenous roots in the modern world. He is the music of the immigrant, the sound of assimilation and integration, the blending of cultures, classes and the musical traditions. Rojas was born in Chile and immigrated to the United States in his early teens. He has performed and/or recorded with Latin jazz great Ray Mantilla, Tom Bowes of Tower of Power fame, Cuba Gooding and the Main Ingredient, Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits among others. Rojas has played major venues nationwide, including Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theater, Universal Studios Amphitheatre and The Greek Theater. His debut CD, “Ahkneeball,” is the musical interpretation of his life’s journey (so far) from Chile to the United States.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors (please call 920-465-2400 or visit The venue box office will also be open 90 minutes prior to the performance. Visit for more information. UW-Green Bay is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

UW-Green Bay Jazz I Ensemble personnel are as follows: Saxophone: Courtney Hamilton, Hannah Jandrin, Kelton Jennings, Alex Munson, McKenna Vanderleest; Trumpet: James Block, Greg Koeller, Ryan Loining, Ellen Reber; Trombone: Cameron Collins, Alex Haase, Joe Russet, Jake Van Dyke; Guitar: Matt Hillman; Bass: Gillian Evenhoff; Piano: Rissel Peguero, Kyle Sweeney; Drums: Isaiah Hernandez, Bobby Magers.


Jazz ensembles plan Tuesday night show in De Pere as scholarship benefit

The UW-Green Bay Vocal Jazz group and both Jazz Ensembles will be performing Tuesday night (Dec. 16) at The George Street Connection, 614 George St., in De Pere. The evening of music begins at 7 p.m.  It’s a concert to benefit jazz scholarships — any donation is appreciated. Prof. John Salerno says the ensembles will be performing music from their last concert along with holiday music. Also, the vocal jazz group will be performing classic doowop/Motown tunes as well as contemporary jazz vocal music.

Big Mouth, UW-Green Bay alumni join students for Jazz Ensembles concert

UW-Green Bay is hosting its first Alumni Reunion Days this weekend, and the school’s Music program will lead the way with a Jazz Ensembles concert at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 1, with student ensembles sharing the bill with top alumni players and their popular local band.

Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns will be special guests for the show in the Cofrin Family Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. It’s the first concert of the academic year for Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Associate Prof. John Salerno and Jazz Ensemble II directed by Associate Prof. Adam Gaines.

Opening the program is Jazz Ensemble II with the Mark Taylor tune “Stick With It,” which features Bobby Magers on drums. Trumpeter David Blihar gets a solo turn on the next selection, an arrangement of the David Clayton Thomas hit “Spinning Wheel.” Blihar and saxophonist Kyle Hall are featured in the 1939 jazz standard “Harlem Nocturne.” Closing the set is the Victor Lopez composition “You Snooze You Lose,” with Hall as soloist.

Salerno’s Jazz Ensemble I will open with a Dan Gailey arrangement of the tenor-sax ballad “Widow’s Walk,” with students Sam Stranz and Matt Hillmann leading the way on sax and guitar, respectively. Stranz also provides the arrangement for “In Walked Bud” and vocal soloist Maari Erdman on the 1947 Thelonious Monk composition. Next up is a Salerno arrangement of Marcus Miller’s “Hannibal,” featuring faculty colleague Gaines on trumpet and student Julio Reyes on saxophone, followed by the Salerno composition “The Lake Effect,” named to honor his family’s native Manitowoc. The tune features Stranz and Reyes on sax, Hillmann on guitar and Sean Roherty on drums. The final selection, will bring in the Power Tool Horns to sit in on John Coltrane’s hard-bop “Blue Train.”

Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns takes the stage following intermission for a set of blues, jazz and original music. Appropriate for Alumni Reunion Days and a UW-Green Bay Jazz Ensembles concert, the nine-member group has a heavy contingent of former UW-Green Bay players. Performers Friday will include Nathan Behling, Class of 1984, trumpet; Marc Jimos ’91, sax and vocals; Bill Dennee ’91, trombone; Woody Mankowski ‘89, sax and vocals; and Paul Sowinski ’83, bass and vocals.

UW-Green Bay Jazz Ensemble II personnel are as follows:
Saxophone: Kyle Hall, alto; Kyle Henrickson, alto; Alex Munson, tenor; Kelton Jennings, baritone; Trumpet: David Blihar, Evan Patton, Brandt Bailey; Trombone: Patrick Romanek, Joe Russett, Mike Hogan; Rhythm Section: Anne Reis, piano; Jon Tabers-Kwak, guitar; Matt Hayes, guitar; Gillian Evanoff, bass; Bobby Magers, drums.

UW-Green Bay Jazz Ensemble I personnel are as follows:
Saxophone: Julio Reyes, Cole Watkins, Sam Stranz, Kadin Dever, McKenna VenDerLeest; Trumpet: Greg Koeller, Chase Collins, Tanner Vodvarka, Gatlin Grimm; Trombone: Michael Hogan, Alex Reed, Joe Russett, Patrick Romanek; Rhythm Section: Kyle Sweeney, piano; Matt Hillman, guitar; Tony Pesavento, bass; Sean Roherty, drums.

Tickets for the Nov. 1 concert are $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors. Call (920) 465-2400 or visit For more information, visit The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music, is located at 2420 Nicolet Drive.