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May 3, 2010

Tenth Annual CUNY Jazz Festival to Run May 6 - 7

 Billy Drewes

Saxophonist Billy Drewes will be guest artists at the tenth annual CUNY Jazz Festival, May 6 - 7.

Saxophonist Billy Drewes is Guest Artist

The City College of New York (CCNY) will host the 10th Annual CUNY Jazz Festival, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Thursday, May 6 and 12 noon to 10 p.m. Friday, May 7 in Aaron Davis Hall, Theater B.  Besides CCNY, ensembles from four other CUNY colleges and LaGuardia High School will participate in the event, which will feature saxophonist Billy Drewes as guest artist.

“This is CUNY’s single most important jazz event,” said Mike Holober, CCNY associate professor of music and festival director.  “It gives students from across the University the opportunity to listen to and learn from their peers and also hear and jam with great guest artists like Billy Drewes.”

Six student ensembles from CCNY will participate in the festival: Small Jazz Ensemble 1, Small Jazz Ensemble 2, Graduate Jazz Ensemble 1, Graduate Jazz Ensemble 2, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and The City College Jazz Orchestra.  City College’s Faculty Jazz Ensemble, which includes John Patitucci on bass, Mike Holober and Ray Gallon on keyboard, Dan Carillo on guitar, Scott Reeves on drums and Paolo Orlandi on drums, will kick off the festival, as they have done in prior years.

Other participating CUNY colleges include: Hunter College, Queens College, York College and the College of Staten Island, whose band is directed by CCNY jazz alumnus Michael Moriale.

Guest artist Billy Drewes will play as a soloist with the CCNY Big Band, host the open jam session and perform with his own quartet, which includes guitarist Pete McCann, bassist Phil Palombi and drummer Tom Rainey, at the Gala Concert which will close the festival.

The festival is presented by The Simon H. Rifkind Center for the Division of Humanities and the Arts and the Department of Music in cooperation with Jazz at Lincoln Center and Aaron Davis Hall.  Admission to all events is free.

About Billy Drewes
Billy Drewes has been creating music, composing, performing and recording since the mid 1970’s. His main instruments include soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, clarinet, flute, percussion and piano.  Featured on over 80 CD’s with performance credits worldwide, he continually searches out new avenues for creative expression.

Recently he has been sharing the stage with artists Joe Lavano, Bill Frisell, Paul Motian and Toninho Horta at venues from Egypt to Cuba, Israel to Africa, New York’s Carnegie Hall to Albert Royal Hall in London.

In addition to his love of performing, he takes great interest in the education of college and high school students. Teaching music as a total art form, Billy participates in clinics and seminars around the world with the goal of extracting from students their hidden talents for improvisation and composition.

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