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Thursday, February 15, 2024 | 7pm | The Redmoor (3187 Linwood Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45208)


Enigmatic saxophonist Wayne Shorter firmly engraved his own likeness into the Mount Rushmore of Jazz’s greatest composers. After an incredible 60+ year career where he played with bands from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to Weather Report, we lost one of the most important tenor saxophonists of his generation with Wayne’s passing in 2023. Cincinnati’s tenor saxophone powerhouse Rick VanMatre takes the Redmoor stage with the CCJO big band to pay tribute to this grandmaster who left us with beautiful tunes like “Infant Eyes,” “Black Nile,” “Footprints” and more.

Opening Act: School for Creative & Performing Arts, under the direction of Erwin Stuckey

Music Sponsors: Brad Pickard and Vicki Young


Artist Profile: Rick VanMatre, alto saxophone

Rick VanMatre is one of the most exploratory saxophonists in the worlds of jazz, classical and progressive music, and has presented concerts, jazz club performances and orchestra concerti in the US, Europe, Israel, Brazil, China, Korea, Thailand and Australia. He is widely recognized for bringing a unique, identifiable voice to a variety of genres. In addition to recording with his own groups showcasing his compositions, he has also recorded as featured jazz soloist with numerous ensembles like the PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, Kim Pensyl Ensemble, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with Manhattan Transfer and John Pizzarelli, and New Third Stream Saxophone Quartet. His diverse experience includes appearances with the most honored names in jazz such as the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Mercer Ellington, Woody Herman Orchestra led by Frank Tiberi, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra led by Buddy Morrow, with contemporary composers like Roland Vazquez and Dave Matthews, and with Cincinnati legends like Frank Vincent, Dee Felice, Frank Proto and Carmon DeLeone. He has appeared with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, concert:nova and James Conlon’s Linton Series, and has commissioned concerti and premiered them with orchestras including the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Sichuan Symphony Orchestra (China), Jeju Wind Orchestra (South Korea), New York Repertory Orchestra and Illinois Philharmonic.

The Chicago Star wrote that “VanMatre’s art is without comparison; his technique exact, yet smooth, his expression poignant and personal,” and the Cincinnati Enquirer stated his “artistry was seamless, technically superb…musically inventive [and] effortless.” VanMatre is Professor Emeritus of Jazz Studies and Saxophone at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and still teaches there on a part-time basis. Formerly as the conservatory’s Director of Jazz Studies, he was responsible for creating the Master of Music in Jazz Studies and the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Saxophone and establishing the Jazz Recording Studio. As conductor of the CCM Jazz Ensemble, he produced numerous CD recordings for Sea Breeze Records including Serenade in Blue which was described by Cadence magazine as a “necessary part of any big-band enthusiast's library.” In the field of broadcasting, he served as the on-air host and interviewer for the nationally syndicated radio series “Jazz - Live From the Hyatt.” VanMatre has been named “Best Jazz Musician” by Cincinnati Magazine, a “reed titan” by Midwest Jazz magazine and the “Ernest N. Glover Outstanding Teacher” by CCM students. In 2018 he was inducted into the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame. His undergraduate studies were at CCM and Berklee College of Music, and he received his Master of Music from the Eastman School. VanMatre is an endorsing artist for Selmer Saxophones and D’Addario reeds. Learn more on his YouTube Channel and

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