Jazz Forum at Sonoma State University is a unique performance/master class designed to expose jazz majors and guests to a wide variety of jazz styles. Director of Jazz Studies Doug Liebinger hosts the event at 1 p.m. in Green Music Center Room 1029, unless otherwise noted. All forum events are free and the community is invited to attend.
This semester's lineup includes:
Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill, Wed, Feb. 1, Warren Auditorium - Singer Wesla Whitfield inhabits that indeterminate zone where jazz and cabaret meet. Trained in classical music and opera, Whitfield has toiled for more than three decades to become one of the most gifted performers breathing life into that exquisite body of Broadway tunes, movie songs and Hit Parade numbers known collectively as the Great American Songbook. She appears at SSU with her husband/accompanist Mike Greensill for a special forum in Warren Auditorium.
The Holly Martins, Wed, Feb. 8 - The Holly Martins (named after the main character in the classic postwar film, The Third Man) is a trio of Bay Area musicians dedicated to exploring the boundaries of jazz-infused improvised music, but without the trappings of a traditional "rhythm section". This configuration requires each individual to simultaneously take on multiple roles typically assigned individual players (soloist versus accompanist), thereby promoting more open-ended explorations of the material. The trio features SSU saxophone instructor Kasey Knudsen, along with guitarist Eric Vogler and vocalist Lorin Benedict.
Ron Dziubla, Wed, Feb. 22 - Spring 2012 SSU jazz artist-in-residence Ron Dziubla performs with students and faculty on this special forum. Ron is a genre-breaking multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator. He is a fixture on the Los Angeles blues scene; he has toured with such high-profile acts as Ricky Martin, Duane Eddy, Royal Crown Revue, and Chayanne; and his music has been featured on many soundtracks and television shows. He has three critically acclaimed saxophone-driven instrumental CDs under his belt - his latest, "Ron Dziubla's Nasty Habit," was released last fall.
John Stowell/Mike Zilber Quartet/Trio, Wed., Feb. 29 - Veteran guitarist John Stowell is known for his groundbreaking duets with David Friesen and tours of Russia with Paul Horn; saxophonist Michael Zilber is known for his touring with Dave Liebman and Steve Smith and his work at the Berkeley Jazzschool. They join forces the Bay Area's #1 call rhythm team of John Shifflett (bass) and Jason Lewis (drums) to mix free playing, transparent ECMish settings and more hard-charging modern jazz.
GMC 1029 is in Music Education Hall adjacent to the Green Music Center. Enter campus from Rohnert Park Expressway, proceed past the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, turn right into Parking Lot L, and go up the stairs to the double glass doors.
Parking passes are $2.50 for the day and may be obtained from the self-dispenser at the lot entrance, or from the Information booths at the campus entrances. Parking is free on weekends beginning at 5 p.m. Friday.