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Students sit in with jazz legend Corea

Jazz legend Chick Corea greets students after his Zoellner performance.

The Lehigh University Student Jazz Ensemble, AKA the “Cream Soda Jazz Band,” were recently given a rare opportunity to sit in on jazz legend Chick Corea’s rehearsals as his group prepared for an international tour.

The student ensemble also performed in Zoellner Arts Center’s Butz Lobby before the 14-time Grammy Award-winning keyboardist and composer’s Oct. 7 performance at Zoellner.

The members of the “Cream Soda Jazz Band” are Alex Davies ’06, bass; Matt Shelosky ’08, piano; Tom Ayars ’08, alto sax; James McBratney ’09, tenor sax; and Eric Winokur ’06, drums.

Corea was joined by core members of flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia’s famed sextet—Carles Benavent, bass; Tom Brechtlein, drums; Jorge Pardo, sax/flute; and Rubem Dantas, percussion—as they revisited the heart of Corea’s Spanish-influenced compositions from his classic Touchstone album.

In his four-decade career, Corea has played with Miles Davis, including the ground-breaking classic fusion recording Bitches Brew and forged his own groups including the Elektric Band to record the award-winning Leprechaun, My Spanish Heart and Musicmagic. He formed his own label, Stretch Records; recorded with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with Bobby McFerrin as conductor; and with Gary Burton for Native Sense: The New Duets.

Corea also has the honor of being one of a select few artists who has appeared at Zoellner more than once. Corea performed in 1997, during Zoellner’s inaugural season.

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005

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