Free jazz concerts at the PAC

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College’s own Thursday Night Band and Bayou Big Band will take the stage at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) for a free, jazz-filled weekend that will also feature an improv clinic and concert from Michael Davis, the acclaimed trombonist and composer widely known for his work with The Rolling Stones and the legendary Frank Sinatra.

Michael Davis
Michael Davis

The first of two free events bound for the PAC Main Hall is “Jazz @ Lee College,” set for 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 8. Both the Thursday Night Band and Bayou Big Band will perform at the annual concert, which will include a mix of old and new big band-style instrumentals.

The GCIC Jazz Fest will begin at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 9, in the PAC Main Hall. Various ensembles from the Texas Gulf Coast community colleges will perform on stage throughout the morning and afternoon, with the Thursday Night Band and Bayou Big Band from Lee College set for 4 and 4:30 p.m., respectively. Davis will offer an improv clinic at 1 p.m., and return to the stage at 7:30 p.m. for a performance with the GCIC Directors Band. The Campus Activities Board is sponsoring his appearance.

Born in San Francisco, Davis quickly found his stride with the trombone in high school and attended college at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. His big break came in 1983 with a call to sign on with the Buddy Rich Band. Three years later, Davis’ career as a freelance recording artist began in earnest and he quickly developed a reputation as one of the best trombonists in the business. In addition to touring and recording with The Rolling Stones since 1994 and Sinatra from 1988-1994, he has also worked with Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Jay-Z, Sarah Vaughan, Sting, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Paul Simon, and dozens of others in a career that has spanned three decades.

As a music educator, Davis has taught workshops and clinics for students around the world and written instructional books and arrangements for musicians at every skill level. He is the founder, creator and president of Hip-Bone Music, Inc. — through which he maintains his own jazz groups and projects — and the recipient of multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. Davis has released nine solo CDs and composed more than 150 works during his career, and appeared on more than 500 CDs and motion picture soundtracks. In 2011, the S.E. Shires Company introduced the special edition Michael Davis Trombone in his honor.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby Liberty, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 13 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.