The Billings Outpost

Carmichael headlines Jazz Montana’s 20th

Pianist Judy Carmichael plays Nov. 2 at the Ellen Theater in Bozeman.MSU News Service

BOZEMAN – Montana State University School of Music will team up with Jazz Montana and the Ellen Theater to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jazz Montana, to be celebrated Nov. 1-4 with events to be held at both MSU’s Reynolds Recital hall and Bozeman’s Ellen Theater.

“Like so many of the great events in Bozeman this is a true collaboration,” said Greg Young, director of the MSU School of Music and one of the festival’s organizers. “The terrific four-day festival celebrating the 20th anniversary will include concerts, master classes and receptions with an amazing array of guest artists.”

The four days of jazz opens Thursday, Nov. 1, with a reception in the lobby of Howard Hall, the home of the MSU School of Music. The event, which begins at 6:30 p.m., includes wine and refreshments.

The reception precedes a performance by trumpeter Al Hood with the MSU Concert Jazz Orchestra. The MSU Lab band and the MSU Jazztet will open for the performance along with the Jazz Montana Scholarship winners.

Hood toured the world with the Phil Collins Big Band, including appearances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He has played in the orchestras of Woody Herman, Glenn Miller and Harry James, and performed on stage with Ray Charles, Doc Severinsen, Natalie Cole, Manhattan Transfer, Arturo Sandoval, the Richie Cole Alto Madness Orchestra, the Summit Brass, Jon Faddis, Conte Candoli, Clark Terry, Curtis Fuller and Wynton Marsalis. He is the professor of trumpet at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music.

Events on Friday, Nov. 2, begin with a lecture by MSU professor Eric Funk at 4 p.m. at Reynolds Recital Hall. Funk, who is a world-renowned composer and jazz pianist, will play and speak on how “Music Is Life.”

Grammy-nominated pianist Judy Carmichael, who is also a vocalist, radio show host and one of the world’s leading interpreters of stride piano and swing, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in the Ellen Theater.

Carmichael will perform with Harry Allen, a world-class tenor saxophone jazz soloist with more than 20 recordings and worldwide concerts. Carmichael’s Grammy-nominated recording “Two Handed Stride,” teamed her with four giants of jazz from the Count Basie Orchestra, Red Callendar, Harold Jones, Freddie Green and Marshall Royal.

She has written two books on stride piano, and has served on several music panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. She is celebrating her 20th year producing and hosting her Public Radio Show, Judy Carmichael’s Jazz Inspired heard on more than 170 stations and on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.

Allen has been identified as one of the “finest exponents of swing tenor alive today” and is described by C. Michael Bailey as “the ‘Frank Sinatra’ of the tenor saxophone: a master interpreter of standards.”

Local musical favorite Chris Cundy and Bad Betty will open for Carmichael and Allen with a special guest appearance by local legend Dave Walker. A pre-reception wine social will be held in the lobby of the Ellen Theater beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Carmichael will play piano and talk about Count Basie and her life in jazz at a lecture, “From Stride to Basie,” set at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in MSU’s Reynolds Recital Hall.

Ryan Matzinger, adjunct MSU saxophone professor and jazz activities director, will play with the Detroit Soul Collective at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Bozeman’s popular group Basement Jazz will open.

Appearing and performing as “Ryan Montana,” a singer-songwriter, saxophonist, recording artist, internationally touring musician and producer, Matzinger recently returned to his native Bozeman after studying with saxophone icons Jackie McLean, Sonny Rollins and Paul Jeffrey at The Hartt School of Music and Duke University.

He moved to Southern California in 2000 and was hired by rock ‘n’ roll legend Ike Turner. Today he remains the saxophone player in the Kings of Rhythm band, which is noted for some of the earliest historical rock music, and which received a Grammy Award in 2007 for best traditional blues group/album.

The festival will conclude Sunday, Nov. 4, with a performance by the group North by Northwest at 3 p.m. in MSU’s Reynolds Recital Hall. This new jazz group features Bozeman-based favorites Bob Nell, Craig Hall, Adam Greenberg, Tony Vaughn and Sam White playing the music of Blue Note records and the Hard-bop era of the ’60s.

All Jazz Montana Festival events held at MSU will be $10. Tickets will be sold at the door. Reynolds Recital Hall is located inside Howard Hall, home of the MSU School of Music. Howard Hall is across the street from the MSU Duck Pond with parking in lots at the corner of 11th and Grant Street. MSU parking is free after 6 p.m. and on weekends.

Events at the Ellen Theater are $22 for general admission, $17 for students and members of JazzMontana. Tickets are available at For information, go to or

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