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Jazz Essence April 26

UVA Jazz alums Kait Dunton, Lisa Mezzacappa and Kathy Olson
perform live on Jazz Essence April 26th, 10 a.m. until noon

The Uva Jazz Ensemble directed by John D'earth will present three guest artists who are all alumni of the University of Virginia Jazz program. Pianist Kait Dunton, baritone saxophonist Kathy Olson, and acoustic bassist Lisa Mezzacappa have all pursued careers as jazz performers and recording artists, and each of them got their start under D'earth's direction. The three women will perform original music and jazz classics in a reunion concert that will bring these former members of the Jazz Ensemble together for the first time.  Prior to the concert, the three musicians will visit WTJU’s studio to talk about their careers in music and perform live as a trio.

Kait Dunton
is a Los Angeles based jazz pianist and composer.  Kait’s music pushes the definition of jazz into new realms with her expansive and richly compositional concept for piano trio and other ensembles. Classically trained, she later found jazz and the freedom of improvisation to be a creative release and her entry into composition.

Kait’s second album of original compositions, Mountain Suite, features Bob Mintzer on tenor sax, John Daversa on trumpet, Peter Erskine on drums and percussion, and Darek Oles on bass.
Currently, Kait is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California, with an emphasis on composition, music education, and music industry. She performs often with her trio and other groups around Los Angeles. She has studied piano under Alan Pasqua, and composition under Vince Mendoza and Erica Muhl.

Lisa Mezzacappa
is a San Francisco Bay Area-based bassist, composer, and musical instigator.  Called "… one of the most imaginative figures on the Bay Area creative jazz scene," Lisa is an active collaborator and curator in the Bay Area music community.  She leads her own groups Bait & Switch and Nightshade, and co-leads the ensembles duo B., Cylinder, the Permanent Wave Ensemble, the Mezzacappa-Phillips Duo, and the Caribbean folk band Les Gwan Jupons. Lisa has released her own recordings on the Clean Feed, NoBusiness, Leo, and other record labels. She collaborates frequently on cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, film/video, sculpture and public music/art.

Kathy Olson is a jazz baritone saxophonist, teacher, and composer based in the Boston area, and also plays and teaches flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet.  She co-leads the Olson Pingrey Quartet with trombonist Randy Pingrey.  Kathy was introduced to jazz in Charlottesville where she studied with musicians John D’earth, Jeff Decker, Pete Spaar, Mike Rosensky and Bob Hallahan at the University of Virginia, learning about improvisation and jazz harmony.   She went on to obtain her Masters degree in Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with many great teachers and inspiring musicians including Jerry Bergonzi, John McNeil, and Bob Moses.

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The opinions expressed by announcers or guests on WTJU are not necessarily the opinions of WTJU or the University of Virginia.