Saturday, March 29, 2014

Steve Wiest


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Steve Wiest is an Associate Professor in the Jazz Studies Division of the College of Music at the University of North Texas. He directs the world-famous One O'Clock Lab Band, coordinates the lab bands, and teaches jazz conducting and trombone. Along with these duties, Steve also created and oversees the UNT jazz trombone band: “The U-Tubes”, an ensemble that consists of 5-8 trombones, and full rhythm section. The group performs original material composed and arranged by UNT students and faculty as well as music from the classic jazz trombone repertoire. During its debut year of 2007-08, The U-Tubes won the International Trombone Association Kai Winding Award for best jazz trombone ensemble. The U-Tubes is directed this year by Victor Barranco.

About Steve Wiest

Multiple Grammy-nominated composer and trombonist Steve Wiest is in great demand as a featured soloist, composer/arranger and clinician. He has performed extensively in the U.S., South America, Australia, Japan, and Europe. Wiest's solo CD: "Excalibur: The Steve Wiest Big Band" was released in August of 2006 by Arabesque Jazz to wide critical acclaim, and his newest release for Arabesque "Out of The New" was released in September of 2008.

From 1981-1986, Steve was the featured trombonist and one of the arrangers for Maynard Ferguson's Band. While with Maynard, he recorded two CDs: "Storm" and "Live From San Francisco", and one two-volume video: "The Playboy Jazz Festival". During this time, Steve and the M.F. band also performed with a number of guest artists including: Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, David Clayton Thomas, Lew Soloff, Billy Eckstein, and Mel Torme. Maynard has recorded a number of Steve's compositions and arrangements including: "South 21st Shuffle" (Live From San Francisco), "Portuguese Love" (The Playboy Jazz Festival), "I Love You" (Brass Attitude) and "I'm Old Fashioned" on MF Horn VI. Steve reunited with Maynard for a final performance at the Blue Note in New York for 12 sold out shows in July, 2006. The all-star MF alum group then went into the studio to record what would be Maynard's final CD, which was released in March, 2007. Included on this release is Wiest's arrangements of "Besame Mucho" and "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone"
Following his years with Ferguson, Steve completed a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas. While at UNT, he was the lead trombonist and one of the featured arrangers for the UNT 1:00 Lab Band. His composing, arranging, and trombone playing can be heard on the following UNT CDs: "Lab '86", "Lab '87", "Lab '88", " With Respect To Stan", "Live From Australia", "The Best of The 1:00", and "Fifty Years of Jazz at North Texas". Steve also contributed a chart to "Lab 89". In 1997 in celebration of the 50th year of the UNT Jazz Studies Program, Steve was a featured soloist with an all-star band of UNT alumni that included: Tom Malone, Ed Soph, Marvin Stamm, Lou Marini, and Jack Peterson.

After a two-year stint as Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Arlington, [1988-1990], Steve became Director of Jazz Studies and Trombone at The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. During his tenure at UW-Whitewater, Steve was also a regular member of the Doc Severinsen Big Band and recorded "Swingin' The Blues" with Doc on Azika Records in 2000. Steve was appointed Assistant Professor of Jazz Composition and Trombone at the University of North Texas in 2007, and was nominated for the Best Instrumental Arrangement Grammy Award for 2007 by The Recording Academy for his arrangement of Besame Mucho on Maynard Ferguson's "One and Only" CD. After a one-year position as Interim Director, Steve was named permanent Director of the One O'Clock Lab Band as a result of a national search in 2009. In his first year as director, the One O'Clock was nominated for two Grammy awards: "Best Large Jazz Ensemble" for Lab 2009 and "Best Instrumental Composition" for Wiest's original work "Ice-Nine".

Steve has a number of arrangements and texts published with various companies including Kendor, Doug Beach, Hal Leonard, Ron Keezer's Really good Music and The University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press. All the original compositions from his Arabesque CD "Excalibur" and One O'Clock projects are available at Walrus Music

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thank You Friend by Ray Hansell

We shared so very much
Through all the years
Times filled with laughter
Times filled with tears

When I needed advise
You always came through
I knew no matter what
I could always depend on you

Now our days of working together
Will not be as frequent as before
I won't see you as often
Like I did when you walked through the door

But I have to say
That because of you
I'm able to accomplish
All the things that I do