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 Paquito D'Rivera Makes One Missouri Stop
“NEA Jazz Master Hosts Concert and Clinic ”


"(Paquito D'Rivera) a Cuban-born saxophone and clarinet virtuoso who plays classical music, jazz and Latin dance music with equal skill." - Washington Post

"Mr. D’Rivera, a gifted saxophonist and clarinetist has become the man to call if you want a concert-hall presentation of Pan-Latin music...D’Rivera is a formidable musician, and in his clarinet playing, with lovely, clear low registers and never a squeaked high note. He was at his best." - New York Times

"It's a wonderful opportunity for the entire state of Missouri to see one of the masters of his craft. The fact that he has never performed here previously makes it extra special."
- Jon Poses, Jazz Series Executive Director



What:   We Always Swing Jazz Series : NEA Jazz Masters on Tour : Memorial Concert

When:   Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m.
Where:   Historic Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St., Columbia, MO 65201
Who:   Paquito D’Rivera, Diego Urcola, Dario Eskenazi, Oscar Stagnaro, Mark Walker
Directions:   From the East drive I-70 to US 63. Take US 63 south to Broadway. Drive Broadway west to 9th Street. Take 9th Street south to Locust Street.
Tickets:   Contact TicketMaster toll-free at 1.866.646.8849 or You may also call the Jazz Series Box Office at 1.573.449.3001. Group discounts are available.


St. Louis, MO, USA - November 16, 2006 Saxophonist/Clarinetist PAQUITO D’RIVERA, the multi-Grammy Winner and Presidential National Medal of Arts recipient, will make his ONLY Missouri appearance Thursday, November 30 at the Historic Missouri Theatre in downtown Columbia as part of the 2006- 2007 “We Always Swing” Jazz Series.

D'Rivera, recognized internationally in both the jazz and classical fields, will lead his internationally flavored all-star quintet. Personnel includes: trumpeter Diego Urcola, pianist Dario Eskenazi, bassist Oscar Stagnaro and drummer/percussionist Mark Walker. The group will also conduct a clinic/workshop with his band earlier the same day in the historic theatre. The clinic is free and open to the public, but is primarily intended to attract aspiring student musicians from middle school through university age.

About Paquito D'Rivera
Named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2005, the acclaimed saxophonist- clarinetist joined some 80 other music greats who preceded him in what amounts to the highest civilian honor afforded a jazz artist. The program began in 1982.

D’Rivera, born in Cuba in 1948, came to the United States in the early 1980s. He co-found two of his country’s most important modern ensembles – Orchestra Cubana de Musica Moderna and Irakere; the latter brought D’Rivera world-wide attention. Once in the States, the classically trained D'Rivera quickly found work with a broad range of noteworthy artists, among them Dizzy Gillespie, who he has called his “musical godfather,” pianist McCoy Tyner, vocalist Carmen McRae, fellow alto saxophonist Phil Woods, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton and timbales master Tito Puente. D’Rivera also served as co-music director of Gillespie’s ambitious 15-piece United Nation Orchestra. After Gillespie’s passing in 1993, D’Rivera took over the leadership of the group until it disbanded some two or three years later. He has issued more then 30 recordings under his own name and participated in countless additional sessions in a supporting role.

D’Rivera’s Jazz Series appearance is part of the NEA Jazz Masters on Tour initiative, presented by Verizon. The saxophonist also serves as this season’s “Dr. Carlos Perez-Mesa Memorial Concert” host. The event is so named after long- time Jazz Series supporter, Carlos Perez- Mesa, who succumb to cancer in 2000. “Carlos and his wife, Laura Perez-Mesa, who has graciously allowed us to name the concert after her late husband, were Jazz Series supporters from the start and from the heart,” said Jon Poses, who directs the organization and curates each season. “When Carlos passed away we let Laura know that each season we wanted to present a Cuban artist or group in his honor. She was very receptive to the idea; her husband, who loved the music of his homeland, arrived in the United States in the early 1960s. He became a pathologist of note and a great humanist.

Since the event began in 2000 the Jazz Series has presented such groups as the aforementioned Irekere (after D’Rivera left the group), Orquesta Aragon, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Tiempo Libre and Chucho Valdes, other well-known Cuban performers. “The events have been extremely well-received and we expect this year will be so as well,” noted Poses, adding “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the entire state of Missouri to see one of the masters of his craft. The fact that he has never performed here previously makes it extra special.” Poses also said the previous evening the Jazz Series will host and invitation-only reception in honor of Mr. D’Rivera; the event will be held at the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Alumni Center.

The Jazz Series, now in its 12th season, serves as Central Missouri’s only all-jazz project and is one of a handful of such projects in the entire country that is both community-based and located in a market of fewer then 250,000 people.

The NEA announced it will conduct a site visit during D’Rivera’s stay here. It is believed to be the first “official” NEA visit to Columbia – ever.
TICKETS for the D’Rivera performance – $20-$26 for the public; $17-$23 for students are available at all TicketMaster outlets statewide and on line at People may charge tickets by calling toll-free 1-866-646-8849 or calling the Jazz Series Box Office directly at 573-449-3001. Group discounts are also available and the Jazz Series has set up a special 5-concert package “Paquito + 4” where ticket buyers receive the best- available ticket to the D’Rivera performance and choose any four other tickets to the Jazz Series’ remaining nine concerts.

“This is a really wonderful opportunity for people,” reiterated Jon Poses, who serves as the Jazz Series’ executive director, to see a great artist who does not get to this part of the country very often. We are tremendously proud that the Jazz Series was selected as Missouri’s NEA ‘Jazz Masters on Tour Host Site.’ It says a lot about how far this program has come in its first dozen years. To have the Jazz Series first host a portion of NPR’s national New Year’s coast-to-coast broadcast last December 31 and now receive this honor – that’s remarkable. We’re very pleased and hope that the public will respond to this chance to see a true jazz master who is also a wonderful musician and entertainer.”

About the NEA Jazz Masters on Tour Program

NEA Jazz Masters on Tour is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts sponsored by Verizon in partnership with Arts Midwest. Additional support is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through a grant to Chamber Music America. 


Additional Program Support

Additional support for this program has been provided by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; City of Columbia through the Office of Cultural Affairs; Gallo Family of Wines; Mediacom; and HuHut Restaurant.


About the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series

Founded in 1995 as a concert producing and educational organization, the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series presents, promotes, preserves and celebrates the great American art form known as “Jazz.” The Jazz Series, its performances, educational activities are administers by “We Always Swing,” Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Additional funding for operations is secured from gifts made by a wide variety of national, regional and local corporations and companies, and from area businesses as well as through the generous tax-deductible contributions from individuals.
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