NIU Jazz Orchestra Performance 2019

Northern Illinois Jazz Performing at Badger High School With Drummer Carl Lee Allen as Featured Artist
Posted on 11/15/2019
Northern Illinois Jazz Performing at Badger High School With Drummer Carl Lee Allen as Featured Artist

Friday, November 22nd the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Jazz Orchestra will perform at Badger High School featuring drummer Carl Lee Allen. The concert, which begins at 7 p.m., will feature NIU, Badger and Delavan-Darien Jazz Band performances, as well.

The concert is the culminating experience of a day-long workshop between the NIU band members and high school students and is a long-standing tradition for Badger jazz students. Badger’s Jazz Band is directed by Greg Bunge who has maintained this relationship with NIU for many years.

Wisconsin native Carl Lee Allen began his drumming career early by banging on pots and pans at the age of three. He attended the University of Wisconsin on scholarship where he studied classical percussion. After two years at Madison, he moved to William Patterson College in New Jersey to be closer to New York City. Allen made his first recording in 1985, Clarion Echoes, with trumpeter Frank Gordon. From then on, Allen has performed and recorded with a multitude of great jazz artists including Jackie McLean, Dizzy Gillespie, Terence Blanchard, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Art Farmer and Branford Marsalis, to name but a few. Allen was soon given the opportunity to record as a leader and in 1988 released Dreamboat with his newly formed band, Manhattan Projects. As a band leader, Allen adopted the philosophy of the great Art Blakey, his most important influence, and sought out young, gifted musicians and allowed them to explore and develop a collective sound under his respectful guidance. Young prospects such as trumpeters Nicholas Payton and Roy Hargrove and pianist Cyrus Chestnut have developed into significant artists under Allen’s watchful eye. Subsequent releases have included Piccadilly Square, The Dark Side Of Dewey, The Pursuer and Testimonial.

In 1988, Allen co-founded his own production company, Big Apple Productions, with alto saxophonist Vincent Herring in an effort to ensure that artists should be given a chance to express his talent and not be sacrificed for reasons of marketability. So far the duo has produced in excess of 50 records for themselves and artists such as Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, Nat Adderley and Pharoah Sanders. As a producer, Allen is very careful to make sure that the artist is as comfortable in the recording process as possible, as well as conducting the business side of the project with a careful eye for detail. Allen’s high level of musicianship stems from his love of and respect for the arts, and his desire to communicate feelings of joy and celebration to his audience. His philosophy that the character of the musician must come through in the music above any technical proficiency is evident in his own playing and in that of the musicians he employs. His ultimate goal as an artist is to play in such a way as to make everyone with him feel good and play at their best. As a participant in the business of music, Allen believes that artists must strive to be in charge of their own careers and work together to break down the barriers of musical genres.

The public is welcome to this event. General Admission tickets will cost $5.00 and are available at the door.

 Friday, November 22nd the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Jazz Orchestra will perform at Badger High School featuring drummer Carl Lee Allen.

Drummer Carl Lee Allen will be the featured guest artist at the Northern Illinois University Jazz Orchestra concert at Badger High School on Friday, November 22. Tickets are $5.00 and will be available at the door.

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