JAZZ

2015 Western Illinois University Jazz Festival

Dick Oatts

The 42th Annual Western Illinois University Jazz Festival will be held Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19, 20-21, 2015. On Wednesday evening, there will be a jam session at Cafe' Aroma beginning at 7:00 pm.

Friday’s main event will be concerts by the WIU Jazz Band and Jazz Studio Orchestra  featuring Dick Oatts, Saxophone virtuoso.


 Born and raised in the state of Iowa, Dick Oatts was brought up in a musical family. He was introduced to the saxophone by his father Jack Oatts, a respected jazz educator and saxophonist. After high school, Dick attended Drake University and in 1972 he began his professional career in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

      It was 1977 when Oatts decided to move to New York City. He then became a member if the Thad Jones - Mel Lewis Orchestra. Since then he has recorded and toured with small groups such as Red Rodney, Eddie Gomez, Vic Juric, Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis, Dom Salvador, Jerry Bergonzi, Flim & the BB's, Fred Hersch, Dave Berkman, Soren Moller, Terell Stafford, Jon Faddis, Lalo Schiffrin, and Ray Mantilla.

      His big band and larger group experience include performances with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Mel Lewis, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Lester Bowie, Joe Lovano, Sam Jones-Tom Harrell, Paquito D'Rivera, Jim McNeely, Tito Puente, Kenny Wheeler, and Gunther Schuller. Oatts has also been featured with the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Danish Radio Big Band, Norboton Jazz Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra, and the UMO Big Band in Helsinki. He has accompanied such vocalists as Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Neene Freelon, Mel Torme, and Milton Nascimento. He has recorded solos for pop artists Luther Vandross, James Taylor, and Everything But the Girl.

      Oatts is now a Steeplechase recording artist and has six Cd's released as a leader. (All of Three, Standard Issue, Simone's Dance, Standard Issue vol. 2, South Paw, Gratitude). He also has a CD out on the RED label with bassist Dave Santoro entitled Meru. Dick has 3 CDs as a leader on the DMP label with pianist and a co-leader Garry Dial.

      For 30 years, Mr. Oatts has appeared at college jazz festivals as a soloist and clinician throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada, South America, and the Middle East. Oatts is a professor of Jazz Studies at the Boyer School of Music at Temple University and has been an artist-in-residence at the Amsterdam Conservatory since 1997.


Public $15; Senior Citizen $10; Youth $7; WIU Student FREE with valid University ID. Tickets available at the Hainline Box Office and at the event.

And, on Saturday, we expect our lineup for middle/junior high and senior high school jazz bands to be outstanding, as usual. Our guest artist/clinician will again perform with JSO on Saturday afternoon.

For band directors, check the links on this site for Jazz Festival materials (invitation, flyer, schedule, entry form, concert ticket form, and lodging information). Early registration deadline for entries is December 1st, and after that date, it will be at the higher rate.

For additional information about the Festival, please contact: University Bands, Sallee 202/204, Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455; PH 309-298-1505; Fax 309-298-1499; or e-mail jazz@wiu.edu.

For the general public who wish to attend, Friday night concert tickets are available at: Hainline Theatre Box Office, Browne Hall 114, Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, Macomb IL 61455; PH 309/298-2900. Box office hours are Monday-Friday, 12:00-5:00 P.M.

Hope to see you all there!

John Cooper, Ph.D
Director of Jazz Studies
Western Illinois University

For more information, please contact to WIU Bands Office, Phone (309) 298-1505, or Email to JB-Cooper@wiu.edu

Download the following information in PDF format.