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 Sunday, 29 November 2015
JazzMN Big Band Meets “Composer of Our Time,” Fred Sturm PDF Print
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Fred Sturm

Since 1998, Minnesota’s big band enthusiasts have had the fortune to hear performances by the JazzMN Big Band. Formed to “promote, preserve and perpetuate jazz, America's indigenous art music, through performance, historical preservation, and education," this non-profit group is an amalgam of the best band artists in the Twin Cities. Over the past ten seasons, the JazzMn Big Band has presented a who’s who list of guest artists, including Arturo Sandoval, Phil Woods, James Moody, Dave Weckl, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Bob Mintzer, Kevin Mahogany, Nicholas Payton and more.  On March 20th, the the JazzMN Big Band led by Doug Snapp, welcomes guests, composer Fred Sturm and local ensemble Voice Trek. All concerts at begin at 7:30 pm at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center. 

“Composer of Our Time” with Fred Sturm and guest vocalists, Voice Trek. Grammy-nominated composer Fred Sturm is Director of Jazz and Improvisational Music at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and serves as guest conductor of orchestras and ensembles throughout the US and Europe. Co-owner of the renowned Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps, Fred's compositions and arrangements have been performed by jazz ensembles, symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, and chamber groups worldwide, and by Bobby McFerrin, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Brookmeyer, Clark Terry and Phil Woods. An abbreviated list of Sturm’s honors includes the 2003 ASCAP/IAJE Commission in Honor of Quincy Jones and a 1997 Grammy nomination. From 1991 to 2002, while serving as Professor and Chair of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music, he directed the world-acclaimed Eastman Jazz Ensemble, conducted the 70-piece Eastman Studio Orchestra, and coordinated the Eastman jazz composition and arranging program.   

Voice Trek
Guest ensemble Voice Trek has been thrilling audiences around the globe for more than 20 years with their inventive arrangements and wide-ranging repertoire. Based locally, the all-original members of Voice Trek are Shelley, Vicki, and Rae Plaster—three sisters who are known for their dazzling vocal mix; the group’s tenor, Denis Allaire, specialist in vocal percussion and vocal instrumental sounds; and the dynamic Kevin Smith bringing up the bass.  Voice Trek’s newly-released CD, An A cappella Trek, has received enthusiastic reviews from fans and critics alike. 

The JazzMN Big Band

Dr. Doug Snapp, the band’s founder and Artistic Director, has degrees in jazz studies from the University of North Texas and a doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado, where he led the college jazz ensembles to several Downbeat Awards. In addition to playing trumpet and directing the JazzMN Big Band, Snapp is a Professor of Jazz Studies and Trumpet at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and plays principal trumpet in the Mankato Symphony. 

Band members this season include: Brian Grivna, Kathy Jensen, Dave Karr, Dale Mendenhall, Clay Pufahl and Pete Whitman (saxes); Jeff Gotwig ,Bob Hallgrimson, Dave Jensen and Steve Strand (trumpets);  Wade Clark. Ethan Frier, Dave Graf and Michael Nelson (trombones); Mary Louise Knutson (piano), Terry Burns (bass), Dave Singley (guitar) and Joe Pulice (drums). 

This season, the JzMN Big Band continues its outreach program with area schools. For schedule and information, watch the band’s website at


Single tickets are $27/$25/$17 in advance or $29/$27/$19 at the door. Student rush tickets, when available, are $10.  Visit for more information or to order tickets. The Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center is located at 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka. 

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