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Yellowjackets Kick Off Spring UW Cultural Programs Concert Series

February 6, 2014
Four men smiling
The Yellowjackets will perform Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Buchanan Center for Performing Arts concert hall, and will join the UW Jazz Ensemble in a performance Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m., also in the concert hall. (Marc Vanocur Photo)

The University of Wyoming Cultural Programs begins the spring season with a performance by the Yellowjackets Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for Performing Arts concert hall.

Tickets cost $24 for the public and $20 for students and seniors. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666, visit or visit the Wyoming Union or Performing Arts Center box offices.

In addition to the Cultural Programs performance, the Yellowjackets will join the UW Jazz Ensemble in a performance Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. Tickets cost $7 for the public and $5 for students, and are available from the Performing Arts Center box office.

For more than 30 years, the Yellowjackets have created music with a brand of jazz that marries post-bop melodic language with elements of rock and world music. The group has kept its place on the Billboard charts with 21 albums, 17 of which earned Grammy nominations and two wins. The group’s latest CD, “Rise in the Road,” recently was 11th on this year’s charts.

Some of the best modern jazz musicians from Los Angeles and around the United States have been members of the Yellowjackets. Current personnel are Russell Ferrante, keyboards; Bob Mintzer, saxophone; William Kennedy, drums; and Feix Pastorius, bass. While the ensemble sound has changed through the years, depending upon the style of music and performers, one thing has remained constant -- award-winning jazz music. 

The Yellowjackets are part of the UW Department of Music Eminent Artist-in-Residence series, funded by the Excellence in Higher Education Endowment through the Wyoming State Legislature.

The group will lead several themed workshops in the Buchanan Center for Performing Arts:

Monday, Feb. 10, 4-6 p.m. -- The rhythm section, Room 132.

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 5-7 p.m. -- Saxophone master class, Room 132.

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 3-5 p.m. -- Writing and arranging, Room 132.

Thursday, Feb. 13, 1-2:45 p.m. -- Improvisation, concert hall.

J. Scott Turpen, UW professor of music and director of jazz studies, directs the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble. He completed his master of music degree in woodwind performance and his doctoral of musical arts degree in saxophone performance.

Throughout his career, Turpen has received many prestigious awards, and has performed worldwide, including the United States, Singapore, Thailand, China, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Switzerland. His extensive orchestral experience includes performances with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Savannah Symphony Orchestra and the Augusta Symphony Orchestra.

For more information about the spring concert series, contact the UW Cultural Programs office at (307) 766-5139 or visit the web site

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