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CCU Jazz Festival features Grammy Award-winning saxophonist

March 22, 2016

Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin will be the featured guest performer for the inaugural Coastal Carolina University Jazz Festival on Tuesday, March 29, and Wednesday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. along with four student ensembles in Wheelwright Auditorium. Two consecutive evenings feature four CCU student ensembles performing music ranging from classic swing to rock, R&B, world music and contemporary jazz. Admission is $17 per evening.

Ensembles include the CCU Jazz Ensemble and the CCU Student Jazz Combo, both directed by Matt White; the CCU New Jazz Ensemble, directed by Chris Connolly; and the Funk Fusion Ensemble, directed by Denrey Christy. White, Connolly and Christy are all on the music faculty at CCU.

Coffin, a three-time Grammy Award winner, will appear with each of the four student groups as they perform his original music. He was a member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones from 1997 to 2010. In July 2008, he began touring with the Dave Matthews Band and officially joined the group in 2009. Coffin also fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet, which released the album “Into the Air” in 2012.

In addition to directing the student jazz bands, White also teaches trumpet. His debut CD, “The Super Villain Jazz Band,” was released in 2013. Connolly, a lecturer in CCU’s Department of Music, directs the Grand Strand Jazz Orchestra, a professional big band in the Grand Strand area, and teaches low brass at CCU; he is also a composer and arranger. Christy, a bassist, is a CCU alumnus and teaching associate on the music faculty.

Wheelwright Auditorium is located at 108 Spadoni Park Circle on the Conway campus. Tickets are $17 for each evening at the Wheelwright box Office or at Senior citizens, OLLI members, alumni, teens and CCU faculty and staff are $12, and children (ages 1 to 10 years) and CCU students are $5.

Call 843-349-ARTS (2787). The box office is open Monday through Friday form 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.