The North Carolina Central University Jazz Studies program will present the 12th Annual Fall Guest Artist Series, featuring saxophonist Jim Snidero, on Friday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. in the B.N. Duke Auditorium. The NCCU Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo I will also perform, presenting a CD-release concert featuring music from “Slightly Blued.” Snidero will also offer a master class and lecture in the Jazz Band Room at noon the same day.
After studying at the University of North Texas, Snidero gained recognition as a member of Brother Jack McDuff’s group, traveling throughout the United States and making three recordings. He has performed and recorded with Toshiko Akiyoshi, the Mingus Big Band, Eddie Palmieri, Frank Sinatra, Sting, Brian Lynch, Conrad Herwig, Walt Weisskopf and Frank Wess.
In 1984, Snidero released his first recording as a bandleader, titled “On Time.” Since then he has completed 14 recordings, including the chart topping “Tippin” in 2007. As a touring bandleader and recording artist, his list of sidemen reads like a who’s who in jazz, including names such as Tom Harrell, Billy Hart, Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Benny Green and Louis Hayes.
Snidero is also a leader in jazz education as an author and teacher. He is an adjunct faculty member at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and at New Jersey City University. He is the author of The Jazz Conception Series, a widely used group of textbooks for jazz education. He is a clinician for Conn-Selmer, the leading manufacturer and distributor of band and orchestral instruments for professional, amateur and student use, and for Rico Reed, the largest manufacturer and distributor of reeds for wind instruments.
Sharing the state with Snidero will be the NCCU Jazz Ensemble, which will perform selections from its latest album, “Slightly Blued,” recorded in 2010. Last year the ensemble took home six first-place finishes at the Villanova Jazz Festival Collegiate Competition — best saxophone section, best rhythm section, best trumpet section, best soloist, first place combo and first place big band. As a result, the Jazz Ensemble opened the evening concert for the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra, directed by Clem Dirosa. “The album is a cutting-edge arrangement with a sense of adventurousness and a touch of tradition,” said Lenora Zenzalai Helm, visiting instructor and co-director of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students with ID. For more information, contact Dr. Ira Wiggins, director of the Jazz Studies program, at 919-530-7214 or the NCCU Department of Music at 919-530-6319.