September 30, 2015

Premier Reed Man Noel Jewkes to Headline Jazz Week 2015

Jazz saxophonist Noel Jewkes, known for his majestic phrasing and harmonic adventurousness, will be in residence October 14 as part of the fourth annual Jazz Week at Sonoma State University. Other guest performers include drummer Sylvia Cuenca, guitarist Paul Bollenback and organist Wil Blades.


Jazz Week 2015 opens with The Shape of Jazz to Come at 7:30 pm October 13 in Schroeder Hall featuring the Cuenca/Bollenback/Blades Organ Trio, comprised of Berkeley-based organist Wil Blades, and from New York City guitarist Paul Bollenback and drummer Sylvia Cuenca. Two student combos will also play—the Ornette Coleman Ensemble, directed by Kasey Knudsen, and the ECM Ensemble, directed by Dave Len Scott.

Drummer Sylvia Cuenca, originally from San Jose, now living in New York, has performed for 17 years with trumpet legend Clark Terry at venues such as the Village Vanguard and Blue Note in New York City. She toured internationally for 4 years with saxophonist Joe Henderson, including trio settings with Henderson and bassists Charlie Haden or George Mraz. Born just outside Chicago, Illinois in 1959, Paul Bollenback was raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, just outside NYC, and began playing guitar at age 7. He majored in music at the University of Miami, then studied for eight years with Baltimore-based professor of Theory/Composition Asher Zlotnick. In 1987 he made his recording debut on saxophonist Gary Thomas’s "Seventh Quadrant" (Enja), and in 1990 established a working relationship with organ legend Joey DeFrancesco, an association that continues to this day, and has produced eighteen recordings. From cookin’ with Blues legend John Lee Hooker, organ summits with B-3 master Dr. Lonnie Smith, television and radio appearances, Wil Blades is gaining critical acclaim and international recognition. Blades, a native Chicagoan, has become the San Francisco Bay Area’s first call organist and is rapidly gaining momentum internationally. He has been named “Rising Star” for organ in the Downbeat critics poll every year since 2006.


Noel Jewkes has worked in the San Francisco Bay area for over 35 years, recording with countless artists including John Hendricks, Wesla Whitfield, Mary Stallings, Paula West and Jerry Hahn, as well as his own ensembles. He brings his quartet—Keith Saunders, piano; Adam Gay, bass; and David Rokeach, drums— to the October 14 Jazz Forum at 1 pm in GMC 1029. At 7:30 pm the same day Jewkes will be featured soloist with the SSU Jazz Orchestra in An Evening With Noel Jewkes led by Doug Leibinger in Weill Hall.

Utah-born of musical Mormon Pioneer stock Noel Jewkes was raised on music. A childhood playing bass, clarinet and saxophone in the family band, the Jewkes Orchestra, cemented his lifelong passion for song. Following college and private music study he joined wealth of musical talent in California where Noel continues to seek new avenues of expression in his favorite music: JAZZ!


On Jazz Day, October 15, invited student ensembles perform for and receive coachings from the SSU faculty starting at 8 am in Weill Hall. Concerts and clinics are free and open to the public. Jazz Day culminates with a 7:30 pm performance by the SSU Faculty Jazz Ensemble featuring trumpeter Dave Len Scott (Tommy Igoe Big Band), saxophonist Kasey Knudsen (Schimscheimer Family Trio), trombonist, composer and arranger Doug Leibinger; guitarist Randy Vincent, (author of The Cellular Approach); pianist and film composer Ken Cook; drummer and co-leader George Marsh (David Grisman Sextet); and bassist Cliff Hugo (Carl Verheyen Band). Kendrick Freeman coaches the SSU Latin Band in the concert opener.

Jazz Studies Program Director Doug Leibinger, a Chicago native, holds three degrees in jazz performance from the University of Miami, where he performed and recorded with many jazz greats, including Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza, Claire Fischer, Randy Brecker, John Faddis, Carl Allen and many more. Leibinger has also performed and recorded with a diverse array of pop, rock and Latin artists, including Chayanne, P. Diddy, Peter Cetera, Sam Moore, Jerry Lewis, Jim Belushi, Jimmy Buffett and Jose Luis "el Puma" Rodriguez among others. Doug's compositions and arrangements have been featured at several professional conferences and his big band compositions are published by ejazzlines. Since moving to California, he has performed with Royal Crown Revue, Harold Jones & the Bossmen, Sean Carscadden and Sarah Summers. He has also traveled to Belgarod, Russia to direct and perform with the students at the Institute of Culture and Art.


Jazz Forum and Jazz Day are free, with $5 daily parking in effect. Tickets to evening concerts are $8, parking included, and available online and at the door. Click here to receive a special rate of $15 for all three concerts. Proceeds from concerts will go to the Mel Graves Fund for Jazz Studies at SSU. For more information email or call 707-664-2324.

Schroeder and Weill halls are located at Sonoma State’s Green Music Center, two miles east of Highway 101 on Rohnert Park Expressway, near the intersection with Petaluma Hill Road.



Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928