Jazz Festival Concert at Willamette Feb. 11

Jimmy HeathJimmy Heath ConductingTenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath will be featured at the 25th Annual Willamette University Jazz Festival concert Saturday, Feb. 11, in Smith Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at the music department are $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. If available, patrons may purchase tickets at the Smith Auditorium box office one hour prior to the performance. For more information, call 503-370-6255, or visit

The annual festival welcomes 24 outstanding high school bands from Oregon and Washington. One of these bands will be invited to join Heath and the Willamette Jazz Ensemble on stage during the concert.

Heath will also offer a free clinic Saturday, Feb. 11, at noon in Smith Auditorium. Registration is not required.

The festival is sponsored by the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series at Willamette.

Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist, composer and arranger. He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years, including Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis.

In 1948 at the age of 21, he performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins, Slam Stewart, and Erroll Garner. One of Heath's earliest big bands (1947-1948) in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd.

During his career, Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums and has written more than 125 compositions, many of which have been recorded by other artists including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon.

After having just concluded 11years as professor of music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Heath maintains an extensive performance schedule and continues to conduct workshops and clinics throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada.