A Big Band Abroad

Oregon Jazz Ensemble to Travel to Europe

March 27, 2014—Under the direction of Steve Owen, Philip H. Knight Professor of Music, the Oregon Jazz Ensemble will travel to Europe for ten days in July 2014 to perform at leading festivals in Switzerland, France, and Italy. The group of twenty students will also serve as goodwill ambassadors for the UO.

As the UO’s premier large jazz ensemble, over the years the Oregon Jazz Ensemble has garnered ten Downbeat magazine awards. The group has been selected as Outstanding College Jazz Ensemble at the prestigious Reno Jazz Festival eight times in the past twelve years.

“This trip gives our students exposure to the art, history, and culture that is so rich in that part of the world,” said Owen. “As an institution, the OJE will also gain exposure as one of the finest jazz bands in the country.”

On July 13, the OJE will preform at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the second largest annual jazz festival in the world. Founded in 1967 and situated on the scenic Lake Geneva shoreline, the festival began as a strictly jazz-only festival, and has evolved into a more general festival embracing top rock and pop acts, attracting more than 200,000 people annually.

Just two days later, the ensemble will perform at the Umbria Jazz Festival in the Renaissance-era hill town of Perugia, Italy, a festival that also accommodates more than 200,000 each year.

Finally, the OJE will also perform at the annual Vienne Jazz Festival, located in a Roman-styled city in France. Vienne’s main stage is the Theatre Antique de Vienne, said to have once been amongst the largest in Roman Gaul. Today, the cries of gladiators have been replaced with the sounds of world-renowned performers entertaining more than 95,000 attendees.

Along the way, the OJE students will enjoy the opportunity to visit local cultural and historical sites.

--Victoria Schmidt

For more information about student travel, contact the development office of the School of Music and Dance.