Tom Knific

WMU School of Music

Three musicians from Under One Sun, a critically acclaimed jazz and world music all-star band, do their best to explain what the audience can expect when they take the stage tonight in the WMU Dalton Center Recital Hall at 7:30 pm, in their Michigan debut. Drummer/percussionist Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Esperanza Spalding, etc.) calls the group "aspirational" - the collected talent is so strong and so diverse, it embodies unlimited potential. Composer/saxophonist Billy Drewes, whose music served as the focus for Under One Sun's 2016 album, says he chose to write several new pieces for the project, but also found some works to bring back from the last 40 years of his compositions.  Salar Nader, who was drawn to drums from the time he could crawl, demonstrates the language of syllables that correspond to drum patterns - a memory and practice tool that allows drummers in his tradition to become masters of complex rhythm.

Tickets and more information here.

Tom Knific, director of jazz studies at Western Michigan University, outlines the career highlights and talents of jazz drummer Dafnis Prieto, who makes a one-time appearance in west Michigan on Tuesday at 7:30 pm on Tuesday night in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Knific says Prieto, who won the MacArthur "genius" grant in 2011, turned into a musical chameleon when he arrived in New York City from Havana, Cuba. Prieto will perform many of his original pieces with his sextet on Tuesday night. 

The second album for the award-winning Western Michigan University Latin jazz group Mas Que Nada  will be released on Monday, January 30 at The Union in Kalamazoo. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, vocalist Monica Pabelonio and WMU director of jazz studies Tom Knific talk about the making of the album and share some music highlights.

Fareed Haque first set himself apart from other guitarists with a simple tactic: play faster than anyone else. But he had other gifts which would round out his youthful need for speed.  An ear for jazz, world, rock, and fusion music, a deep study of classical guitar, and a multi-cultural upbringing helped him become one of the most complete guitarists working today.

Jazz pianist Edward Simon, a bandleader and member of SFJazz Collective, has established close ties to Western Michigan's School of Music in the last few years as an Artist-in-Residence, says jazz professor Tom Knific. He will premiere a new, 40-minute jazz suite at the Dalton Center Recital Hall on Sunday.