Emory's jazz fest 2020 features saxophonist Bob Mintzer with the Gary Motley Trio

January 21, 2020

Saxophonist Bob Mintzer, a twenty-eight-year member of the Grammy Award-winning Yellowjackets, is what's known as a triple threat musician. He is equally active in the areas of performance, composing/arranging, and music education. The New York native takes the stage with the Gary Motley Trio to kick off Emory University’s Jazz Fest 2020 on Friday, February 7 at 8:00 p.m. Mintzer is joined by pianist and band leader Gary Motley, bassist Kenny Davis, and percussionist Emrah Kotan. The general public is also invited to observe free jazz master classes on Thursday, February 6 and Saturday, February 8.

Jazz Fest 2020 comes to a close on Saturday, February 8 with Emory’s Big Band, led by Gary Motley and joined by Kenny Davis and Emrah Kotan. Tickets to Saturday’s concert are free, but required. 

Jazz Fest 2020 Schedule of Events:

Full details can be found online at schwartz.emory.edu

Thursday February 6, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. – Master class with Bob Mintzer and the Gary Motley Trio |Schwartz Center: Emerson Concert Hall | Free; No tickets required

Friday, February 7, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. – Bob Mintzer, tenor saxophone with the Gary Motley Trio in concert | Schwartz Center: Emerson Concert Hall | Tickets $20

Saturday February 8, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. –  Jazz saxophone master class with Bob Mintzer | Schwartz Center: Tharp Rehearsal Hall | Free; No tickets required

Saturday February 8, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. – Emory Big Band with the Gary Motley Trio featuring Kenny Davis and Emrah Kotan | Free; Tickets required

Artist Bios:

Kenny Davis began his career listening to R & B artists such as Earth Wind & Fire, Brothers Johnson, and the Temptations. Davis taught himself to play guitar and then went on to study music theory with David Holder, Sr. and earn a bachelor of arts degree in music education at Northeastern Illinois University. At Northeastern University, Davis discovered jazz music and became part of the Chicago music scene, playing with Von Freedman, Ari Brown, and Fred Anderson. Later, he studied classical bass with Warren Benfield of the Chicago Symphony and also with Jeffrey Bradetich. His jazz influences include Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Jaco Pastorius, and Verdine White.

Emrah Kotan is a classically trained percussionist who came to the United States from his native Turkey and received a master's degree in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University. His debut album, The New Anatolian Experience, is a collection of original compositions and arrangements that fuse world music and jazz, creating stylistically sophisticated vibes and a genuine model of personal artistic expression. After playing some of the most renowned venues in the world such as the Istanbul Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, and the Blue Note in New York, Kotan is one of the most sought-after musicians in the Atlanta music scene. His unique musical ability transcends many genres and cultures. He is involved in various musical projects, including his own, and is the drummer/percussionist for Grammy Award–winning artist, India Arie. 

Bob Mintzer has played/recorded with a wide variety of artists including the Yellowjackets, Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, James Taylor, the New York Philharmonic, American Saxophone Quartet, Art Blakey, Donald Fagan, Bobby McFerrin, Kurt Elling, Jaco Pastorius, and Randy Brecker. A respected educator, he is the recipient of the Buzz McCoy Endowed Chair of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Mintzer continues to conduct clinics and workshops worldwide, while also writing for orchestra, concert band, and big band—with over three hundred charts to his credit. Mintzer honed his big band writing and playing skills in the bands of Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, and Thad Jones-Mel Lewis. 

Gary Motley is a pianist, composer, arranger, and educator. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, and the American Composers Forum. Motley has also been featured on National Public Radio’s Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland. Motley began studying the piano as a young child in Alabama and would later be exposed to jazz as a teenager. While attending the University of Montevallo, Motley honed his skills as a jazz pianist, playing with numerous regional bands. It was soon thereafter that he would decide to make music his life’s endeavor. During his career, Motley has established a professional association with many of today’s leaders in jazz. He has worked with artists ranging from Dave Brubeck to Clarke Terry. His recording credits range from his premier CD Peaceful Moments (1994) to his latest recording, No Reservation Required (2017). 

All events are presented in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts (1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322). Tickets are available through the Schwartz Center Box Office online at schwartz.emory.edu, in person, or by calling 404.727.5050 Monday – Friday, noon – 6 p.m. 

The Schwartz Center for Performing Arts is committed to providing performances and facilities accessible to all. Accommodation requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance of the event to the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404.727.5050, or by email at boxoffice@emory.edu