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They will also conduct a clinic for Lafayette student jazz musicians

As the third concert in the Williams Center’s Jazz Masters series, celebrated saxophonist Steve Wilson and drummer Lewis Nash will come together for a performance on Friday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are free for students, $4 for faculty and staff, and $18 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009.

In addition to their concert they will conduct a clinic for Lafayette jazz musicians at 4 p.m. in room 123 of the Williams Center. At 7 p.m. there will be a pre-concert talk by pianist Mulgrew Miller, who has performed and toured with both musicians. Both events are free and open to the public.

The theme for this season’s Jazz Masters series is “Intimate Dialogues.” This special concert format consists of pairs of renowned performers. The series will conclude this year with a performance by Gary Burton and Chick Corea on March 11 for $25.

Wilson and Nash are no strangers to Lafayette audiences. Nash has played here three times, once in the Art Blakey Reunion band and more recently with the Classical Jazz Quartet along with Kenny Barron, Stefon Harris, and Rufus Reid. Wilson has been heard at Lafayette twice in Mulgrew Miller’s Wingspan performances, and he played brilliantly as lead soloist in Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra performance here last February.

Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 100 recordings led by more than a dozen celebrated artists. He also has seven recordings under his own name. Wilson’s most recent recording Soulful Song, was released by MAXJAZZ in June 2003. It features his quartet and special guests Rene Marie, Carla Cook, Phillip Manuel, James Genus, Billy Kilson, Paul Bollenback and Wilson “Chembo” Corniel.

He has been artist-in-residence at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hamilton College, and Old Dominion University. He received the Marc Crawford Jazz Educator Award from New York University in 2001, and the Virginia Jazz Award 2003 Musician of the Year presented by the Richmond Jazz Society

Ira Gitler in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz pronounced Nash to be “perhaps the most talented drummer of his generation, equally effective in small group or big band.”

Nash has played and recorded with an incredible array of artists. His more than 300 recordings include projects with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Benny Carter, Hank Jones and John Lewis, as well as new jazz stars Diana Krall, Joe Lovano and Roy Hargrove. Demonstrating his stylistic diversity, Nash is also featured on recordings by Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Rankin, Melissa Manchester and George Michael.

The 2007-08 Jazz Masters performance series is supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The 2007-2008 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidsey Williams Endowment, J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour; the F.M. Kirby Foundation, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

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