GORHAM – Jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon will be the featured artist during the Youth Ensembles Jazz Improvisation Weekend to be held Saturday, Dec. 11, and Sunday, Dec. 12, in Corthell Hall on the University of Southern Maine Gorham campus.

This annual weekend features two days of workshops, jam sessions and master classes by instrument. Clinics and rehearsals are open to selected high school instrumentalists with an interest in jazz improvisation.

In his career, Gordon has been active as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger and educator. He received the Jazz Journalists Association 2002 and 2001 Awards for Trombonist of the Year and the Jazz Journalists Association 2000 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Trombone. His trombone playing mixes powerful, intricate runs with sweet notes extended over clean melodies.

In addition to his solo career, he tours regularly with his Wycliffe Gordon Quartet. Gordon is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and The Gully Low Jazz Band. His performance experience includes gigs with Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderley, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Joe Henderson, Al Grey, Clark Terry, Branford Marsalis, Tommy Flanagan, Shirley Scott, Lionel Hampton and Shirley Horn. He also has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center series.

There will be two events offered to the general public on Dec. 12: a master class will be given by Gordon at 2 p.m. Fee is $5. At 7 p.m. a concert will begin with performances by student combos and, at 8:15 p.m., after a short break, the USM jazz faculty and Gordon will take the stage. Tickets for the concert are $6 for the general public and $3 for students and seniors. People can call the music box office at 780-5555.

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