Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Saxophonist David Liebman to complete two-day public residency at Saint Mary’s

Photo by Pin Lim

WINONA, Minn. — The community is invited to listen to and learn from world-renowned saxophonist David Liebman Thursday and Friday, April 16-17, as he completes a two-day residency at Saint Mary’s University.

Liebman will perform with the SMU Jazz Ensemble and Combos, under the direction of Dr. John Paulson, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, in Page Theatre. He will also give a special “meet the artist” session at 6:30 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall. Both venues are located in the SMU Performance Center. Tickets to the performance are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Additionally, Liebman will offer two master classes — both free and open to the public — including:

• A Jazz Improvisation Master Class for students, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in Page Theatre, and

• An Improv Master Class for teachers and pros, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 17, in Page Theatre.

The residency is made possible through funding from the Helen and Sam Kaplan Foundation and the Saint Mary’s Department of Music. For more information, contact Paulson at or (507) 457-1596, or go online to


David Liebman’s music career has spanned over three decades, beginning with his “apprenticeship” period performing and recording with drummer Elvin Jones (most notably with the recording “Live At The Lighthouse”) and Miles Davis (during the seminal “On The Corner” period). Since then he has led his own groups (Lookout Farm, Quest, The Dave Liebman Group) featuring musicians like John Scofield, Billy Hart, Adam Nussbaum, Al Foster, John Abercrombie and Vic Juris. Liebman has consistently placed among the top three in the Downbeat Critics Poll for Soprano Saxophone since 1973 and is considered one of the main exponents of this very specialized instrument.

Liebman has played on nearly 300 recordings with more than 100 under his own name or co-leadership. The repertoire is among the most eclectic of contemporary artists.

In the education field, he is a renowned lecturer, producing several instructional DVDs and books, which have been translated into several languages. He is the founder (1989) and artistic director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), an organization of jazz schools from over 40 countries representing every continent that meets yearly and promotes cross cultural student/teacher exchanges.

Awards granted to Liebman include an Honorary Doctorate from the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland); Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Solo (1998) and Best Big Band Arrangement (performed on Liebman’s big band recording “Beyond The Line” in 2004); induction into the International Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame (2000); Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Grant (2005); Jazz Journalists Award (2007); and in the 1980s two National Endowment of the Arts grants for performance and composition. He serves on the Board of Advisers for Jazz Improv magazine, the Chet Baker Foundation, the Pensylvania Regional Jazz Coalition, and American Jazz Venue and is presently a lecturer in the masters and doctoral programs of the Manhattan School of Music.