GORHAM – Award-winning saxophone player Harry Allen will give a master class and perform during this year’s USM/Fleet Youth Ensembles Jazz Improvisation Weekend. It will be Saturday, Jan. 17, and Sunday, Jan. 18, at the University of Southern Maine’s School of Music. Everything takes place in Corthell Hall on the USM Gorham campus.

The weekend features two days of workshops, jam sessions and a concert. Clinics and rehearsals are open to selected high school instrumentalists with an interest in jazz improvisation.

The weekend was rescheduled from December due to snow.

Allen has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and the Far East. He has performed with many musicians, including Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Flip Phillips and Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison. He also has recorded with many, including Tony Bennett, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Barron and Dave McKenna.

Allen has more than 20 recordings to his name. Three of his CDs have won Gold Disc Awards from Japan’s Swing Journal Magazine, and his CD “Tenors Anyone?” won both the Gold Disc and the New Star awards.

His recordings have made the Top 10 list for new releases in Swing Journal Magazine’s reader’s poll and Jazz Journal International’s critics’ poll for 1997. “Eu Nao Quero Dancar” (I Won’t Dance), a third Gold Disc winner, was voted second for album of the year for 1998 by Swing Journal Magazine’s readers.

Born in Washington, D.C., in 1966, Allen was raised in Los Angeles and Rhode Island. He received a B.A. degree in music from Rutgers University and currently lives in New York City.

Two events are open to the public. Allen’s master class is at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 18. The concert begins Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5/$3.


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