Concert Pays Tribute to Founder of UT’s Jazz Program

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Concert Pays Tribute to Founder of UT’s Jazz Program

Posted: 02/13/2009
Knox County Public Library and Knoxville Jazz Festival Inc. proudly announce a pre-festival tribute concert for Jerry Coker, founder of UT's jazz program, on Sunday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the East Tennessee History Center. Admission is $15 for the general public, $10 with a student ID. Tickets are available at the door.

After a rich and varied career as a jazz saxophonist with Woody Herman and Stan Kenton, Jerry Coker discovered his talent for teaching and writing about jazz improvisation and theory. He became a pioneer in jazz education, writing 17 books and developing jazz programs for several major universities. He founded the Jazz Studies program at the University of Tennessee in 1976.

Coker will be playing with three former students, now Professors of Music at UT - Mark Boling on guitar, Keith Brown on drums, and Rusty Holloway on bass. Donald Brown will play piano, and Coker's longtime friend, the Grammy-winning trombonist Slide Hampton, will be a special guest.

This concert marks the beginning of the Knoxville Jazz Festival on March 4-7, 2009. This year's festival includes performances by Freddy Cole, Don Byron, the Knoxville Jazz Youth Orchestra, Emily Mathis, and Knoxville's own Donald Brown. For the complete schedule and ticket information, go to or call Nelda Hill at 215-8729.

The Library's jazz collection is home to over 3000 titles spanning the history of jazz from its roots in Africa to Louis Armstrong's Hot 5's and 7's to the experimental sounds of Jon Hassell.