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UW Cultural Programs Presents Jazz Double Feature March 23-24

March 15, 2017
woman standing
Alicia Olatuja

Jazz performers Alicia Olatuja and Joey DeFrancesco are scheduled to appear at the University of Wyoming as part of the UW Cultural Programs spring schedule. Olatuja will perform Thursday, March 23, and DeFrancesco Friday, March 24, both at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall.

Tickets for both performances cost $17 for the public; $14 for senior citizens, UW faculty and staff; and $10 for students. Tickets are available at the Performing Arts box office and the Wyoming Union information desk, by calling (307) 766-6666 or going online at

Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Olatuja grew up immersed in the sounds of gospel, soul, jazz and classical music. She later graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a master’s degree in classical voice/opera.

Olatuja’s spotlight moment occurred in 2013 when she performed as a featured soloist with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir at former President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. Later, she assembled her own jazz band and recorded her first album, “Timeless.”

She has performed with such stars as Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans and Christian McBride.

In 2014, Olatuja caught the attention of composer Billy Childs and became part of his current nationwide “Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro” tour. Olatuja’s performance at UW falls in between her tour performances in San Francisco, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

For more information about Olatuja, visit

man standing with arms outstretched
Joey DeFrancesco

Philadelphia, Pa., native DeFrancesco was raised playing the organ. DeFrancesco’s father began teaching him how to play when he was 4 years old, memorizing jazz albums from his home. DeFrancesco’s father brought him to performances where he was introduced to legendary musicians such as Hank Mobley and Philly Joe Jones.

DeFrancesco, a natural musician, also learned to play the trumpet. He toured with the legendary Miles Davis as among the youngest players ever recruited for one of Davis’s ensembles. DeFrancesco, a three-time Grammy Award nominee, has toured or recorded with well-known artists Ray Charles, James Moody, George Benson and Diana Krall. He also is an inductee of the inaugural Hammond Organ Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame.

DeFrancesco’s newest album features him on the Hammond B-3 organ, the keyboard, trumpet and vocals.

For more about DeFrancesco, visit

The final spring UW Cultural Programs event will be Broadway’s Next H!t Musical, Friday, April 21.

For more information about UW Cultural Programs, call Janelle Fletcher at (307) 766-5139 or email

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