Cool Off With Hot Summer Jazz

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Series includes Djangirov, Wolf

The 13th season of the KUAF Summer Jazz Concert Series kicks off at the Walton Arts Center on July 16. The series is presented by the North Arkansas Jazz Society, the Walton Arts Center and KUAF-FM 91.3.
The WAC’s Starr Theater will be the home for the three summer events. The 175-seat, black box theater provides the perfect setting for an intimate jazz club-style experience.

Eldar Djangirov

Eldar Djangirov

On Saturday, July 16 at 8 p.m. in the Starr Theater, jazz piano phenomena Eldar Djangirov will present a solo piano concert.
Eldar came to the U.S. from Kyrgyzstan in the former Soviet Union 14 years ago when he was 10 and was featured on “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz” show at the age of 12. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently declared, “Eldar is a terror of a technician who can scorch the keys in unexpected ways … channels the spirits of McCoy Tyner and Oscar Peterson along with Russian classical composers — all while showing great touch with dynamic.” The New York Times stated, “A blend of musical intelligence, organizational savvy, enthusiasm and prowess … an ebullient impressionist.” Perhaps Jazz Times summed it up best: “Maybe he made a pact with Lucifer to be the greatest pianist ever …”
Eldar has performed at venues ranging from the Hollywood Bowl to Carnegie Hall and has played at the most notable jazz venues in the world including Blue Note (New York, Japan, Italy), the Vanguard, Dizzy’s, Yoshi’s and Jazz Alley. Last month, Eldar released his first solo recording on Sony Records. Djangirov flits from jazz standards to Bach and Scriabin to Monk and Parker, Even Dave Matthews’ “So Damn Lucky” gets a spin. This will be a rare opportunity to hear a modern genius of jazz piano.
▲Cabaret table seats: $25 Jazz Society members, $30 nonmembers
▲General admission: $15 members, $20 nonmembers

Composer’s Showcase

On Saturday, Aug. 6 the Summer Series continues with the Composer’s Showcase.
This jazz variety show presents the stalwarts of the regional jazz scene performing original tunes and arrangements in a variety of ensembles. It is a rare opportunity to witness the art of jazz composition and performance by our resident artists, often featuring world premiere compositions. Duos, trios, quartets and quintets make the stage a smorgasbord of great jazz music, with appearances from Ben Harris, Claudia Burson, Walter Savage, Nathan McLeod, Dr. James Greeson and Rick Salonen and the Fayetteville Jazz collective to name a few. Come out and support the home team for an evening of original jazz music.
▲Cabaret table seats: $20 members, $25 nonmembers
▲General admission: $12 members, $15 nonmembers

Warren Wolf

Warren Wolf

The final concert will take place on Friday, Aug. 26 and feature internationally acclaimed vibraphonist Warren Wolf with the Claudia Burson Trio.
A native of Baltimore, Wolf is one of those miraculously talented musicians who is equally accomplished on vibraphone, marimba, drum set, percussion and the piano. Wolf began playing drums at the age of 3, took up vibraphone a few years later, toured with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra when he was 9, wrote his first tune when he was 10 and was hired for professional jazz gigs by the time he was 12.
Wolf studied classical, jazz and ragtime while attending the Peabody Preparatory of The John Hopkins Institute in Baltimore. After graduating from the Baltimore School for the Arts in spring 1997, Warren enrolled at Berklee College of Music, studied with vibist Dave Samuels and went on to become a faculty member. Wolf has played and recorded with many of the worlds best musicians, including Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Nicholas Payton, Mulgrew Miller, Lewis Nash, Christian McBride, Terri-Lyne Carrington, Bobby Watson, Roy Haynes, Danilo Perez and many others.
Wolf will be performing with hometown rhythm section the Claudia Burson Trio with Claudia Burson on piano, Steve Wilkes on drums and Drew Packard on bass.
The North Arkansas Jazz Society was founded in 1993 and is dedicated to presenting, preserving and promoting jazz music in all of its forms. The NAJS has been a community leader in presenting world class jazz performers in a variety of venues in Northwest Arkansas. Proceeds from the Summer Jazz Concert series help fund the NAJS scholarship program, which awards grants to high school and college students.
▲Cabaret table seats: $25 members, $30 nonmembers
▲General admission: $15 members, $20 nonmembers

If you would like more information about becoming a North Arkansas Jazz Society member, go to or call 225-2306. Tickets are on sale now at or 443-5600.

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