Lee News

Performing Arts Series to Continue with Latin Jazz Concert


The Lee University School of Music will continue its Performing Arts concert series on Friday, Oct. 21, with an exhilarating Latin Jazz concert featuring special guests Jim Walker, Bruno Miranda, Jesse Pitts, and Giovanni Pérez. Lee music professor, Dr. José Valentino Ruiz, will also perform with them as the music director for the ensemble. The concert will take place in Pangle Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Musical selections from Walker and Ruiz's newly released album, “We Are One: An Exploration of Latin American Music,” will be featured in the concert. Selected music from artists such as Alicia Keys, Bill Withers, and Miles Davis, among others, will also be performed. The Lee University Jazz Ensemble will also present a world premiere of Ruiz's and Pérez's tune, “Cuban Cha Cha.”

Walker to Perform
Jim Walker

Walker, often hailed as the “Renaissance Man of the Flute,” is one of the world’s eminent classical and jazz flutists. He is the former Principal Flutist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has recorded music for more than 700 movie soundtracks, recorded on two albums with iconic jazz figure Miles Davis, and co-composed pieces with legendary film composer John Williams.

Walker currently teaches at University of Southern California and The Colburn School. He founded the critically-acclaimed jazz-classical fusion quartet Free Flight who appeared on The Tonight Show and The Today Show and also has a number one record. For more information, visit Walker.

Bruno Miranda
Bruno Miranda

Miranda is an award-winning gospel and jazz pianist, composer, musical director, and audio engineer. Within the past year, he has garnered a 2015 Latin GRAMMY award as an engineer for Ruiz's album, “I Make You Want To Move,” and is currently in the running for a 2016 Latin GRAMMY. He holds a master of science in music technology and a bachelor of music in music productions and audio engineering from Berklee College of Music. For more information, visit Miranda.

Jesse Pitts
Jesse Pitts

Pitts began playing drums at the age of two and released his first album, “Genesis,” at the age of 15. Since then, he has won the Church of God (COG) International Teen Talent competition for the Indefinite Percussion category, earned 10 Downbeat Student Music Awards, was nominated for a 2015 Latin GRAMMY, and is currently nominated alongside Miranda and Ruiz for a second Latin GRAMMY award.

Pitts currently has three albums to his credit and is the founder of the popular Florida-based cover band, Alacris. For more information about Pitts, visit site.

Perez Performs
Giovanni Pérez

Pérez is an acclaimed classical and Latin jazz flutist, producer, and arranger, who recently headlined alongside Walker and Ruiz at the National Flute Association. Pérez was the former Principal Flutist for the South Shore Symphony Orchestra and piccoloist for the Philharmonic of Puerto Rico. He has performed at numerous jazz and Latin music festivals and currently works as a national clinician for Trevor James Flutes.

Pérez currently serves at Stonybrook University in New York as a graduate teaching assistant while pursuing a doctor of musical arts in classical and jazz performance.

Jose Ruiz to Perform
Dr. José Valentino Ruiz

Ruiz joined Lee’s School of Music as an assistant professor of music business this fall. He has broad musical experience in areas of performance, production, education, clinician work, and research. He is the recipient of two Latin GRAMMY Awards, the record holder of 42 International Downbeat Student Music Awards, three COG International Teen Talent Awards, and an International Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award, among others. He has also performed at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, ESPN, Ted Talk, and more.

Ruiz holds a doctor of philosophy in music, a doctorate of ministry in global outreach and ethnodoxology, a master of music in instrumental performance, and a bachelor of arts in music studies. This will be his debut faculty performance at Lee. For more information about Ruiz, visit site.

In addition to the Friday concert, Miranda will present a lecture recital in the Squires Recital Hall on Wednesday, Oct 19 at 7:30 p.m., performing the music from “MOSAICO.” He will also discuss facets of musicianship, improvisation, artistry development, and the modern church musician. On Thursday, Walker and Pitts will present various workshops throughout the day and a seminar on improvisation for classical musicians and novel improvisers.

The Lee University School of Music is also pleased to announce the anticipated Performing Arts concert on February 13, 2017, with renowned jazz bassist John Patitucci. In addition to playing the bass, Patitucci also records, produces, composes and teaches. He has received three GRAMMY awards and has been nominated 14 times.

Patitucci has performed with the Japan Philharmonic, Suono e Oltre, Chelsea Music Festival, and Berklee College of Music, among others. He has recorded 14 solo albums in addition to appearing on movie soundtracks and being featured on other albums. For more information, visit Patitucci.

Both performances are open to the public and free of charge, but tickets are required due to limited seating. Tickets are available in the Dixon Center Box Office from 3-6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by calling (423) 614-8343.

For more information about the Performing Arts Series, contact the Lee University School of Music at music@leeuniversity.edu or (423) 614-8240.
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