The UCA Department of Music will host saxophonist Joe Eckert in concert Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall.
A versatile performer in both classical and jazz idioms, Eckert will perform a program that includes both styles. The first half of the recital will include the Alexander Glazounov Concerto for alto saxophone as well as transcriptions by J.S. Bach and Jules Massenet, which will be accompanied by UCA faculty member Kazuo Murakami on piano. The second half of the program will include jazz standards such as It Ain’t Necessarily So, You Stepped Out of a Dream, Gibraltar, Coral Keys and What Is This Thing Called Love. A jazz combo of UCA student musicians will back up this set.
Eckert is the first full-time professor of saxophone at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. From 1987-2004, he served as adjunct faculty at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia and assumed full-time duties from 2004-07 as professor of saxophone and director of jazz studies.
He retired in 2004 from a 20-year career as lead alto saxophonist/woodwind specialist and director for the USAF Band’s Airmen of Note in Washington, D.C.
Eckert received his B.M. from Baldwin-Wallace College in saxophone performance and went on to complete graduate and post-graduate studies at the University of North Texas, where he was a member of the world renowned One O’clock Lab Band, principal saxophonist with the Wind Symphony and soloist with the Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to joining the Airmen of Note, he was assistant professor of saxophone and director of jazz studies at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W. Va., (1981-84), where his ensembles were awarded for their excellence and he received the “Outstanding Teacher Award” for 1982-83.
While with the “Note” he toured extensively across North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. As producer for the “Jazz Heritage Concert Series,” he collaborated with some of the great names in jazz to include Louie Bellson, Bob Berg, Randy Brecker, Jimmy Heath, Cleo Laine, David Liebman, Mike Mainieri and Clark Terry. He has also performed with Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Jon Faddis, Bunky Green, J.J. Johnson, Carmen McRae, Sammy Nestico, Tommy Newsom, Red Rodney, Kenny Werner, Paquito D’Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Arturo Sandoval, Dr. Billy Taylor, Joe Williams and many others. As coordinator of the “Jazz Outreach Education Series,” he brought the expertise of Airmen of Note to aspiring music students throughout the country. Some of his freelance activities include performances with the Dallas Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra and tours with Liza Minnelli and Nelson Riddle. In the popular music world he has performed with the likes of Lou Rawls, Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra Jr., Anthony Newley, Natalie Cole and Michael Jackson.
Comfortable in both jazz and classical idioms, he was the only member of the faculty at Shenandoah to have been a guest soloist with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and Brass Quintet and has been featured as a soloist with the TCU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble in his first year on the faculty. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician at music festivals, high schools and colleges nationally and internationally.
Eckert’s professional affiliations include The American Federation of Musicians, Music Educators National Conference, North American Saxophone Alliance and the Jazz Education Network. Eckert is a Yamaha-performing artist/clinician.
In addition to the 7:30 concert, Eckert will present a jazz masterclass at noon and a saxophone masterclass at 2 p.m. in the Recital Hall. The concert and masterclasses are free and the public is invited. For more information, contact Dr. Jackie Lamar, professor of saxophone, 450-5763.