Jazz musician Dave Liebman to perform Sept. 15 at SUNY Potsdam
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 6:02 am

Dave Liebman will perform at SUNY Potsdam on Sept. 15.

POTSDAM -- SUNY Potsdam will host National Endowment of the Arts jazz master Dave Liebman during a special performance at the Crane School of Music's Snell Hall on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Under the direction of Gunnar Mossblad, the Dave Liebman Big Band will perform John Coltrane masterworks as part of a year-long commemoration to honor Contrane's 90th birthday, Liebman's 70th birthday and the 50th anniversary of Coltrane's death.

Liebman, who will play soprano saxophone and wooden flute, with be joined by saxophonists Gunnar Mossblad, Charles Pillow, Dave Riekenberg, Tom Christensen and Jay Brandford. Trumpets/Flugelhorns will be played by Bob Millikan, Brian Pareschi, Stuart Mack and Patrick Dorian. The trombonists include Tim Sessions, Scott Reeves, Sam Burtis and Jeff Nelson. The rhythm section will feature Jim Ridl on piano, Vic Juris on guitar, Tony Marino on bass and Marko Marcinko on drums.

This concert is free and open to the public.

About the Performers

Dave Liebman was awarded America's highest jazz honor when he was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2011. He has shown an ability to play in any style of jazz, especially on what has become his instrument of choice, the soprano sax. In addition, he has been a strong advocate of the music, having founded the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), an organization dedicated to bringing together educators and students from jazz schools worldwide.

He began classical piano lessons at age nine, soon switching to saxophone. His interest in jazz was sparked especially by hearing John Coltrane perform in various New York City clubs. Throughout high school and college, Liebman continued playing jazz, learning "from the street" as was the way before jazz education was more common, though he did spend periods of time studying with Joe Allard, Lennie Tristano, and Charles Lloyd.

In the 70s, Liebman came into his own, founding Free Life Communication, a cooperative of several dozen young musicians that became an integral part of the vibrant New York jazz scene. He soon found a spot as saxophonist/flutist in drummer Elvin Jones' group, and then was hired by Miles Davis. Liebman played on Miles' last two recordings before the trumpeter's temporary retirement in the late 1970s, "Get Up with It" and "On the Corner."

At the same time, Liebman was also exploring his own music, beginning a long relationship with pianist Richie Beirach in the group, Lookout Farm. In 1977, he toured internationally with pianist Chick Corea followed by forming the David Liebman Quintet, featuring guitarist John Scofield.

In 1981, he founded Quest, a group that remained active with varying members until 1991 and has reunited in recent years. Since the early 1990s he has led a quartet/quintet and in 2000 he founded the Dave Liebman Big Band under the direction of Gunnar Mossblad.

His work has continued to move in many unusual directions, with projects ranging from Puccini arias to overdubbed solo recordings, from adaptations of jazz standards to world music and fusion. In all, it demonstrates Liebman's insatiable curiosity and innovation.

Liebman's work recording and touring with Coltrane colleagues Miles Davis and Elvin Jones, has earned him a spot among the world's most respected Coltrane performers, scholars, and lecturers. His GrammyTM-nominated Big Band is comprised of top-shelf New York City musicians and has been recording and performing in major jazz performance spaces and universities around the United States since 2000.

Almost all of the members of the Big Band have been with Liebman since 2000 or longer. Their exceptional career experiences are often presented in several formats in order to interact with and be beneficial to students.

The members of the Big Band have extraordinary accomplishments, performing for decades with iconic performers such as Tito Puente, Barbra Streisand, the Count Basie Orchestra, and the Bob Mintzer Big Band. Under the direction of Gunnar Mossblad, the Dave Liebman Big Band has released five CDs and one DVD.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, please visit http://www.potsdam.edu/crane.