Jazz Legends Marvin Stamm and Bill Mays to Be Featured at the Patnoe Jazz Festival
Trumpeter Marvin Stamm and pianist Bill Mays, two of the best-known and most renowned musicians on the international jazz scene, will be the featured guest artists at this year's 25th annual Herb Patnoe Memorial Jazz Festival. The concert is set for Tuesday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Homestead High School Theater, 21370 Homestead Road in Cupertino. Stamm and Mays will appear with the De Anza College "Daddios" Jazz Ensembles, directed by Steve Tyler, and the Homestead High School jazz band, directed by John Burn.
The concert is made possible by a joint effort between De Anza College's Herb Patnoe scholarship fund and Homestead High School's music boosters. "We are extremely fortunate and very excited to be able to bring Marvin Stamm and Bill Mays to the Bay Area," said Tyler. "These are two world-class musicians who have spent their careers at the pinnacle of the jazz world, and whose work I have long admired. I know that our jazz fans are in for a real treat."
In addition to the evening concert, this year's festival will bring five local high school jazz bands to the Homestead campus for Tuesday afternoon performances and clinics with Stamm and Mays. Outstanding student soloists will be invited to perform onstage with Stamm, Mays, and the "Daddios" during the evening concert.
Throughout his distinguished career, Marvin Stamm has been praised for both the art and the craft of trumpet playing. Jazz critic Leonard Feather stated, "Mr. Stamm is an accomplished performer whose technical skill is used as a means to stimulating original ends." After graduating from North Texas State University, Mr. Stamm toured with the big bands of Stan Kenton and Woody Herman in the early 1960s before settling in New York City and quickly establishing himself as a busy jazz and studio trumpeter. He gained considerable recognition for his playing with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and the Duke Pearson Big Band, performing with Frank Sinatra and the Benny Goodman Sextet, and recording with such luminaries as Bill Evans, Quincy Jones, Oliver Nelson, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Michel Legrand, Lena Horne, George Benson, and many other popular artists of the period.
Currently, Mr. Stamm's activities include performing as a soloist, touring with his Jazz quartet or in duo with pianist Bill Mays, and performing with symphony orchestras throughout the country and abroad. Mr. Stamm also commits a good deal of his time and energies to helping young music students develop their own voices. His involvement in Jazz education takes him to universities and high schools across the U.S. and abroad as a performer, clinician and mentor, perpetuating the traditions of excitement and innovation that Jazz represents.
Pianist, composer and arranger Bill Mays, a Northern California native, came from a musical family; his dad was a minister, and his mother, a homemaker. "Gospel music was the first music I heard," he recalls. Mr. Mays' professional life began at age 17 as a bandsman in the U. S. Navy, when he spent a year at the Naval School of Music in Washington D.C. After four years in the Navy, Mr. Mays first settled in San Diego before making the big move to Los Angeles in 1969. He worked jazz gigs with many of L.A.'s best players, including Buddy Collette, Harold Land, Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Art Pepper, the Bobby Shew Quintet, and the Kenton Jr. Neophonic Orchestra. He eventually became a fixture in the Hollywood recording studios and became known as the consummate accompanist, L.A.'s first-call pianist for singers such as Sarah Vaughan, Dionne Warwick, Anita O'Day, Al Jarreau and Frank Sinatra.
In 1984, Bill moved to the Jazz Mecca, New York. "I wanted to broaden my scope, work with some of the people I'd always admired," he explains. "And, continue to grow as a writer and player." In addition to leading his own bands, his resume includes many of the most important musicians of the era: Ron Carter, Eddie Daniels, Benny Golson, Mel Lewis, Bob Mintzer, Gerry Mulligan, Maria Schneider, Marvin Stamm, Clark Terry, and many others. Mr. Mays is also well-known for his compositional and arranging talents, and has contributed music to the libraries of a wide array of artists, including the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Shelly Manne, Mark Murphy, Bud Shank, Marvin Stamm, Lew Tabackin, the Turtle Creek Chorale and Phil Woods.
De Anza's annual jazz festival is held in memory of Dr. Herb Patnoe, who died suddenly in 1981 while in his early 50s. This well-respected and admired jazz performer and faculty member began teaching in the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in 1962. Five years later he established its jazz program.
Patnoe produced some of the most outstanding jazz ensembles in the nation and gained national prominence as the longtime director of the popular Stan Kenton summer jazz clinics. Many of his students went on to perform professionally with Kenton and other bandleaders such as Woody Herman and Harry James.
The "Daddios" were first established by Patnoe in the 1960s. After a hiatus in the 1990s, the "Daddios" were reassembled in early 2001 by Tyler, a De Anza alumnus and former Los Angeles freelance musician. The "Daddios" Jazz Ensembles have established a reputation for being among the finest evening college rehearsal jazz bands in the Bay Area. These outstanding ensembles perform big band literature from all periods of jazz.
Tickets are $18 in advance and $23 at the door. Visit the Web site at faculty.deanza.edu/tylersteve to purchase advance tickets. For further information, call (408) 864-8999, ext. 3450.