The sound of "The Big Bands" will power the final summer performance of the Wheaton Pops Orchestra, conducted by Kevin McMahon, and featuring famed artist Rick VanMatre on saxophone. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, in Glenbard South High School Auditorium, Glen Ellyn.
VanMatre will perform his own arrangements of "Body and Soul," "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "Get Happy." The program celebrates music from Duke Ellington to Harry James, plus a tribute to the female vocalists of the genre, as well as the improvisational flavor of New Orleans.
The school is at 23W200 Butterfield Road. Tickets cost $32; call 630-790-1430 or visit www.ticketweb.com. For more information, go to www.wheatonsymphony.org, where you can check for roadwork updates about the venue's entrance.
About Rick VanMatre
Performing jazz and classical music around the world, he has been featured as a saxophone soloist with such diverse ensembles as the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Mercer Ellington, the Woody Herman Orchestra led by Frank Tiberi, Roland Vazquez’s contemporary Latin groups, and artists such as Gene Bertoncini and Rosemary Clooney, and has recorded with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, Manhattan Transfer and John Pizzarelli.
As a classical saxophonist, he has appeared with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, concert:nova, and James Conlon’s Linton Series, and has been a concerto soloist with the New York Repertory Orchestra, Sichuan Symphony Orchestra (China), and other orchestras across the U.S.
He is also active as a conductor, and has directed programs on American Jazz Radio Festival, NPR, and for artists including Slide Hampton, Joe Henderson, Ahmad Jamal and Joshua Redman. As director of the Jazz Program at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he produced and conducted five CD recordings, including "Serenade in Blue," which received a first-round Grammy nomination, and was described by Cadence magazine as a “necessary part of any big-band enthusiast's library.”
In the field of broadcasting, he served as the on-air host and interviewer for the nationally syndicated radio series “Jazz - Live From the Hyatt.” VanMatre has been named “Best Jazz Musician” by Cincinnati Magazine, a “reed titan” by Midwest Jazz magazine, and a “superb instrumentalist” by the Cincinnati Enquirer.