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Black Mountain Institute


Dave Loeb, director of UNLV Jazz Studies and an associate professor of music, conducts jazz ensembles and is instructor of jazz piano and jazz composition. Dave has performed with renowned jazz artists including Freddie Hubbard, Tom Scott, Bobby Shew, Bill Watrous, Tom Harrell, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams and Anita O'Day, and has played for many television shows. He has also performed as principal keyboardist with The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and was guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra for Dee Dee Bridgewater and the National Symphony Orchestra as musical director for Ben Vereen. Under his direction, UNLV Jazz Studies has received numerous distinguished honors and achieved national recognition. Dave current serves as musical director of Twyla Tharp’s Sinatra: Dance with Me at the Wynn Las Vegas.

New Orleans-born musician Ellis Marsalis, Jr. started his career as a tenor saxophonist, switching to piano while in high school. From his first professional performance with "The Groovy Boys" over fifty years ago, Marsalis has been a major influence in jazz. He has played with Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, and Al Hirt, and has recorded almost twenty of his own albums. His is also a prolific teacher, educating music students at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of Louisiana. He has influenced the careers of countless musicians, including Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton, as well as his four musician sons: Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo, and Jason. In 2007, Marsalis received an honorary doctorate from Tulane University for his contributions to jazz and musical education. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

Ishmael Reed is the author of nine novels, five books of poems, and four collections of essays, as well as four plays, three television productions, and two librettos, and has also been the editor of four anthologies. His publishing and editing enterprises have included Reed, Cannon and Johnson Publications; I. Reed Books; and the journals Yardbird Reader Y'Bird, Quilt, and Konch. Among his honors and awards are the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, a Guggenheim Foundation Award, the Lewis Michaux Award, an American Civil Liberties award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the California Arts Council. For over twenty years, he was a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Oakland.

Marlena Shaw is among the most versatile and charismatic jazz vocalists performing today. Her music career began in 1963, when she worked with jazz trumpeter Howard McGhee, and by the mid-'60s she was performing regularly for audiences in the Catskills, around Manhattan, and at Chicago’s Playboy Club. In 1966, she recorded "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" for Cadet Records. The rare vocal version of the tune prompted executives to invite her to record two albums for the label, both of which showcase her broad range of styles, including blues, jazz, and pop. She went on to tour with the Count Basie Orchestra for four years, and was eventually signed to Blue Note Records, recording five albums and several singles for the label. She toured for a time with the late Sammy Davis, Jr. and continues to perform today, most recently in a tribute featuring the Count Basie Orchestra at UNLV’s Performing Arts Center in January, 2011.


Jazz; Jazz – History and criticism; Jazz musicians


American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Cultural History | Music | Musicology




Moderator: Marlena Shaw

Beam Music Center, Doc Rando Recital Hall, 7:00p.m.

Audio file size: 58.7 megabytes