faculty concert

October 11, 2000





Margie Yu
Public Affairs Asst.
(323) 343-3047


of Events

Cal State L.A. Faculty-Artist
Concert Series to Present
"Both Sides of the Fence"
Classical and Jazz

Los Angeles, CA -- On Friday, November 10, the Cal State L.A. Department of Music Faculty-Artist Series will feature saxophonist Jeff Benedict and percussionist Jon Nathan in a concert entitled "Both Sides of the Fence" at 8 p.m. in the Music Hall on the Cal State L.A. campus. As the title suggests, the concert will feature music in both the classical and jazz styles.

The first half of the program will be comprised of contemporary classical repertoire including Encounters IX for saxophone and percussion by William Kraft and the psychedelic Dream Fantasy for saxophone, percussion, electronic tape and two 16mm films by Texas composer Merrill Ellis.

The second half of the program will feature a jazz quartet with the addition of Larry Koonse, electric guitar, and Chris Symer, bass. The quartet will perform original compositions, as well as music of Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis and John Scofield.

Cal State L.A. is located just east of downtown L.A. at the Eastern Ave. exit on the San Bernardino Freeway. Tickets are $15.00 general admission; $5.00 for students and seniors. For further information, call the Department of Music at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-4060.


The Performers:
Jeff Benedict holds a B.M. and an M.A. from the Lamont School of Music and a D.M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a student of Harvey Pittel, and has been the winner of four "deebee" awards from Downbeat magazine. He is an accomplished jazz performer, currently performing with the HMA Salsa-Jazz Orchestra and having performed with many jazz artists including Toshiko Akiyoshi, Randy Brecker, Nick Brignola, Eddie Daniels, Carl Fontana, Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Hubert Laws, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Mintzer, Claudio Roditi, Diane Schuur, Lew Soloff, Billy Taylor, Mel Torme, Bill Watrous, Mark Whitfield and Joe Williams. Jeff is currently on the faculty at the California State University, Los Angeles where he is the Professor of Saxophone and the Director of Jazz Studies. He has released two jazz recordings on the Resurgent Music record label, Castle Creek Shuffle and Standard Fare, and has recently released a classical CD on Centaur Records entitled The Orion Saxophone Quartet.

Percussionist Jon Nathan has been a figure in the Santa Barbara musical scene since his arrival six years ago. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master of Music in Percussion Performance from California State University, Northridge. During his time in Northridge, he was introduced to William Kraft, and was asked to continue studies with Mr. Kraft at University of California Santa Barbara, where he recently finished his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance. Currently, Dr. Nathan is principal percussionist with the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, and principal timpanist with the Santa Barbara Grand Opera Association, as well as Director of Jazz Ensembles and Lecturer in Percussion and Percussion Ensemble at the University of California Santa Barbara. He has served as Jazz Ensemble Director and Percussion Instructor at Moorpark College, has taught Techniques of Percussion at Westmont College, and currently is the Applied Music Percussion Instructor at Santa Barbara City College. He has also served on the faculty of the Jazz in July Improvisation Workshop, held on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, with such jazz luminaries as Yusef Lateef, Dr. Billy Taylor, Sheila Jordan, and the Turtle Island String Quartet. Recently, Jon has organized the Santa Barbara Jazz Orchestra, a collection of local professional jazz musicians which performs periodically in the Santa Barbara area.

Larry Koonse, born into a musical family, has been playing the guitar since the age of six. At the age of fifteen he recorded an album with his father, guitarist Dave Koonse, entitled Dave and Larry Koonse: Father and Son Jazz Guitars. In 1984, Koonse was the first recipient of a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California. Since his graduation, he has toured extensively as a member of the John Dankworth quartet, backing up Cleo Laine. He has also toured with Mel Torme, Terry Gibbs, Warne Marsh and was a featured performer with the Percy Faith Orchestra on a tour of Japan. In his travels, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Academy of Music, the Sydney Opera House, and has been a featured soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and many other orchestras throughout the world. Koonse has recorded with Cleo Laine, Al Hirt, Jimmy Rowles, John Gross, Bill Perkins, Mel Torme, Toots Thielemanns, Bob Sheppard, and many other jazz artists. He is currently a member of the L.A. Jazz Quartet, which recorded its debut record on GOWI Records and recently released its second release, Look to the East, featuring all original music composed by members of the group. He has been a faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts since 1989.


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