School of the Arts

Jazz X-Press: Springtime is Swingtime

Greg Gisbert and Paul Romaine Join the Jazz X-Press in the Concert, "Springtime is Swingtime"

trumpet

California State University, Chico’s School of the Arts presents the Jazz X-Press in Springtime is Swingtime. The concert will be held on Saturday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre. Tickets are available at the University Box Office, online or by calling 530-898-6333. 

“There’s no jazz if it doesn’t swing,” said Rocky Winslow, director and Department of Music and Theatre faculty member.

The Jazz X-Press typically invites special guest artists to perform at their concerts. For this concert, the guest artists will be Greg Gisbert (trumpet) and Paul Romaine (drums). The two musicians last appeared with the Jazz X-Press in the spring 2017 concert, Chico Jazz Celebration

“Greg Gisbert will be in the jazz history books in 50 years,” said Winslow. “And Paul Romaine is easily one of the top five drummers I’ve heard in my life.”

Gisbert has played with several groups including the Woody Herman Orchestra, Horace Silver, the Lincoln Center Orchestra, and the Maria Schneider Orchestra.

Greg Gisbert playing trumpet
Greg Gisbert

Romaine has been playing professionally since the age of 14 and has played with artists such as Charlie Rouse, Jimmy Heath, and Eddy Harris. Romaine founded the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts (CCJA), a program for middle school and high school students in Denver to study and play with professional musicians on a weekly basis. 

Winslow chose Gisbert and Romaine as the guest artists not only because of their great talent, but also because of their ability to educate. Gisbert and Romaine will be conducting a jazz clinic with the high schools and jamming with the Jazz X-Press for the three days leading up to the concert.

“They’re on that level of the jazz world and they teach so well because of how they communicate. They get rid of that barrier,” Winslow said.

Some of the Jazz X-Press members who will have this opportunity to work with Gisbert and Romaine include soloists Alexis Barragan (trombone), Jaik Hakkarien (drums), Dillan Novotny (woodwinds), Anthony Paneno (drums), and Chris Thorn (lead alto saxophone).

Two high school jazz bands that attend Gisbert and Romaine’s workshop will be chosen to open for the Jazz X-Press at the concert.

Paul Romaine sitting at drumset
Paul Romaine

The Jazz X-Press will present a mix of original and well-known compositions. One of the original pieces written by Winslow is called Iliopsoas. Familiar jazz standards that will be performed include Belly Roll by Quincy Jones and Sammy Nestico. 

“It should be a real music experience,” said Winslow. “This is the best all-around rhythm section that I’ve had since I’ve been at Chico State.”

Tickets for the concert are priced at $18 adults, $16 seniors, and $6 students and youth, and are available to purchase at CSU, Chico’s University Box Office, 530-898-6333.

For those who need special seating accommodations, please call 530-898-6333. More information is available online at the School of the Arts websiteand Facebook page.

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Story by Shelby Casey, School of the Arts publicity assistant


About the Jazz X-Press

The Jazz X-Press, directed by Rocky Winslow, is the top jazz ensemble at CSU, Chico. There are about 20 CSU, Chico students of any major in this auditioned ensemble. Instrumentation includes trombone, trumpet, saxophone, bass, guitar, drums, and piano. The Jazz X-Press plays pieces from standard big band jazz to cutting edge jazz to student compositions. Styles of pieces can include standard jazz, funk, Latin, rock, etc. In their concerts, the ensemble makes use of jazz improvisation and original “charts” written specifically for the ensemble.


About the Director

Rocky Winslow

Rocky Winslow has been the director of jazz studies at California State University, Chico since 2002. Winslow received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in jazz studies from University of North Texas. In addition to his experiences as a professor, Winslow is also a professional trumpet Yamaha artist and clinician, appearing regularly at high schools and universities around the country. He has served as the all-state guest conductor and a trumpet clinician for music education associations in Texas, Nevada, California, Arkansas, Hawaii, Australia, Japan, and Scotland. As a performer, Winslow has shared the stage, recorded, and toured with artists such as Maynard Ferguson, Tony Bennett, Jimmy Heath, Vincent Falcone Orchestra, Chaka Khan, Peabo Bryson, The Temptations, Don Menza Big Band, Natalie Cole, Drew Carey, Paul Anka, The Four Tops, Bob Newhart, Frankie Valli, and many others.