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Southeastern Louisiana University to Host Third Annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival

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Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, will host the Third Annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival March 4 - 6. Featured this year on the final night will be the Kenny Werner Trio. Last year, the Eddie Gomez Trio closed the three day event.

Three years ago, Dr. David Evenson, Chair of the Department of Music at Southeastern, established the jazz festival in the name of its most famous graduate, Bill Evans. Evans was a 1950 cum laude graduate of the university and was the recipient of seven Grammy Awards prior to his death in 1980.

Ron Nethercutt, Director of Jazz Programs at that time, had recorded a concert at the university in 1979 and it was later released under the title of Homecoming. Ron continued to develop the Bill Evans Archives which are housed at the university library. Although retired and living in the Philippines, Nethercutt returns each year to lecture and perform at the annual festival. “One of my biggest thrills was meeting Bill's niece, Debby, who attend the opening festival in 2002," he recalls. “'Waltz for Debby' was Bill's most popular composition and has been recorded by dozens of artists."

The festival opens on March 4th with a lecture and power point show by Nethercutt, and continues that night with members of the university faculty and guests performing the opening concert. Throughout the next two days, programs will be given by the Southeastern University Jazz Ensemble and clinics by the Kenny Werner trio. The festival concludes on March 6th with a concert by Werner's group.

For additional information, contactthe Department of Fine Arts at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, at (985) 549-2184 or fax (985) 549-2892.

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