An Evening of Vocal Jazz

Saturday, November 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Erik Jonsson Academic Center (JO)
Season: 2019-2020

Singer Rosana Eckert performs with Don Shelton (vocals and woodwinds), Kelly Durbin (piano), Lou Harlas (bass) and Rich DeRosa (drums). Buy Tickets Now Rosana Eckert is an internationally renowned jazz vocalist, composer, arranger and educator. She has performed with a long list of jazz luminaries including Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Wheeler, George Duke, Christian McBride, Jon Faddis, New York Voices and Lyle Mays. Her recordings, At the End of the Day and Small Hotel have received critical recognition, and At the End of the Day was a finalist for Best New Jazz Album in the 2006 Independent Music Awards. She has served on the jazz faculty of the University of North Texas since 1999, and her work teaching jazz voice, song writing and vocal pedagogy has helped establish UNT as one of the premier jazz vocal programs in the world. Her highly anticipated new solo album, Sailing Home, produced by Peter Eldridge (singer/songwriter/New York Voices) was released in June 2019 on Origin Records. Don Shelton is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who has been in-demand in the studios of Los Angeles and Chicago for over 50 years, singing and playing woodwinds on thousands of TV and radio commercials such as Budweiser, Schlitz, Allstate, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Oscar Mayer, Bud Light, State Farm, United Airlines, Kraft, KFC, Keebler and McDonalds. In addition, he has recorded with such icons as Barbra Streisand, Paul Anka, Amy Grant, Celine Dion as well as recording several movie themes. A frequent live performer, he has performed with such well-known artists Les Brown, Ray Anthony, Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis and Barbara Cook. Kelly Durbin keeps an active teaching schedule as an Associate Professor of Instruction at UT Dallas, where he directs the UT Dallas Jazz Ensemble and teaches jazz courses in history, theory and piano, as well as courses in digital music. He remains just as active as a performer, and received the Sammons Center for Arts’ 2018 Jazz Artist of the Year Award. He has worked with the Woody Herman Orchestra, The Ellington Small Band, David “Fathead” Newman, James Clay, Hank Crawford, Cornell DuPree, Tom Morrell, Greg Bissonnette, Billy Hart, Cheryl Bentyne, and Roseanna Vitro, to name a few. Durbin was a long-time member of the Marchel Ivery Quintet, as well as ensembles led by James Gilyard and Wayne DeLano. He often performs with the N’awlins Gumbo Kings, and is currently working in the Common Ground Jazz Quartet and concert projects led by Duane Durrett. He has been the featured artist for Sammons Jazz and the Dallas Jazz Piano Society. During graduate studies at UNT, he was granted the Teaching Fellowship in jazz piano, led a jazz keyboard/synthesizer ensemble, and was pianist for the Jazz Singers. As an adjunct professor, he taught advanced jazz theory, aural skills, and small group. He studied piano at UNT with Steve Harlos, Dan Haerle, and Bob Rogers. Lou Harlas is a nationally recognized electric and acoustic bassist. For more than three decades, he has performed a versatile repertoire of jazz, rock, rhythm and blues, and classical music throughout the United States. His work is characterized by an affinity for all styles of American music. He toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, featuring Ella Fitzgerald, and performed live with Dave Liebman and Junior Cook. Harlas has also performed with Red Rodney, Cedar Walton, Branford Marsalis, Frank Foster, David Ball and Johnny Lee. Harlas played in studio sessions with Mark O’Connor, Marty Stuart, Vassar Clements, and John and Jamie Hartford. Harlas keeps an active local and national performance schedule. He has taught bass and jazz studies at The University of Texas at Arlington and is currently teaching music in the Dallas County Community College System. Richard DeRosa is a Grammy-nominated composer is currently the Director of Jazz Composition and Arranging at the University of North Texas and the Artistic Director for American Jazz Venues (AJV). Since 2012 he has conducted and arranged for the prestigious WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany, and served as the band’s chief conductor from 2014-2016. Since 2001 he was arranged and conducted projects for Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Throughout his career, his compositions and arrangements have encompassed a vast variety of writing styles which have been heard on stages and in venues around the world, on television and in film, on and off Broadway, in videos, audio books and numerous CD recordings. “Neil”, his original work for big band garnered a 2015 Grammy nomination for “Best Instrumental Composition” and is featured on Lab 2015 recorded by the UNT One O’Clock Lab Band. In addition to his commissioned work writing and conducting and his teaching at University of North Texas, DeRosa is a published author and remains active as an adjudicator, clinician and guest lecturer.
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