|Jazz Studies Program Celebrates 70th Anniversary|
The University of North Texas Jazz Studies Program recently celebrated its 70th anniversary in a major way by releasing four special compilation albums, plus LAB 2017, a new release by the One OClock Lab Band.
The milestone event marks seventy years since the founding of the North Texas jazz program by faculty members Neil Slater, Jim Riggs and Jay Saunders, who devoted decades to teaching multiple generations of students, many of whom went on to productive musical careers. The program is now led by the distinguished composer Richard DeRosa. The One OClock Lab Band, which began releasing albums in 1967, is headed by Alan Baylock, himself a UNT alumnus.
ten diverse tracks include student originals, compositions by faculty
members, and a composition by Don Menza.
Among the compilation albums are LEGACY-NEIL SLATER AT NORTH TEXAS, a 4-CD boxed set containing the complete recordings by Grammy-nominated composer Neil Slater, the longest-tenured director of the One OClock Lab Band. A 168-page booklet is included, featuring hundreds of photos and notes by band members, colleagues and friends.
Other compilation-album highlights include PERSEVERANCE: THE MUSIC OF RICH DeROSA AT NORTH TEXAS and AIRSTREAM ARTISTRY: JIM RIGGS BEST OF THE TWO. Under Riggs leadership, the UNTs Two OClock Lab Band was named recipient of Downbeat Magazines Student Music Awards five different times.