CU jazz students produced album and play local gigs
CU music students Kurtis Adams and Kevin Woods produced their first professional recording, “Ballad of the West,” and are bound for two of the country’s most prestigious jazz programs.
Adams, a saxophone player and doctoral candidate, was accepted to The Paquito D’Rivera Latin Jazz Workshop. The workshop is a week long in New York, with Paquito D’Rivera as one of the leading Latin jazz players.
“We are going to go work on a lot of his music and study with his quartet,” Adams said. “I am also going to learn a lot about Latin jazz and be able to play in a concert. This is a huge opportunity for both of us to get our names out there on a national level. It is going to be nice to learn a lot about Latin music straight from the horse’s mouth.”
Adams said he grew up as a musical kid playing with all kinds of musical toys and setting up fake recording studios at the age of four.
Woods, a trumpet player and master’s candidate, was accepted to Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program. The program is a two week residency in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center.
“I will be able to work on my compositions,” Woods said. “What I hope to get out of the program is seeing people my age and seeing what they are doing, and what their take is on jazz. I enjoy teaching so it will be interesting to work with other teachers.”
Woods said he grew up with music because his dad was a trumpet player.
“I got a bugle when I was two, a clarinet when I was five and a trumpet when I was ten,” Woods said. “I basically grew up with a trumpet in my hand.”
Adams and Woods met last year and felt they clicked musically. The two then started collaborating.
“Ballad of the West” encompasses many different types of jazz like bebop, a fast paced and intense genre made popular in the 1940s.
Woods said the album is called a “spiritual journey” by some critiques.
“‘Ballad of the West’ was written for my late uncle,” Woods said. “I’m from Washington and we’re all hicks. He was the quintessential cowboy, very loyal, very helpful, so I wrote it for him.”
The album is scheduled for release on April 1 and Adams said they were working on a CD release party for May.
Adams and Woods said they are most likely going to make another album this summer before they graduate.
Adams plans on graduating in May 2008 with a doctorate in musical arts and jazz studies. Woods is set to graduate next summer with a master’s degree in jazz performance and pedagogy.
Both plan on persuing a career in music, starting with local tours after they graduate.
Woods already plays salsa two or three nights a week. You can catch him Wednesday at Trilogy Wine Bar or at Rumba on Saturdays.
“Individuality is the key word for jazz,” Woods said. “There is a lot of communication between the musicians.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Molly Gasiewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org.