• Clayton Performing Arts Center (map)
  • 10915 Hardin Valley Road
  • Knoxville, TN, 37932
  • United States

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra performs the music of Mike Abene and Rich Willey as part of Pellissippi State Community College's Performing Arts Series. 

About the artists:

Michael Abene: is a renowned pianist, composer, and arranger/educator. He was the Chefdirigent (chief composer and arranger), of the highly acclaimed WDR BIG BAND of Cologne, Germany from 2004-2014. His arrangements are played worldwide, by big band as well as orchestra. His career takes him regularly around the globe, delighting audiences in concert performance, featuring his arrangements for artists such as Randy Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Patti Austin, Mike Stern, Gary Burton, Dave Liebman, saxophonist Bill Evans, Kurt Elling, Eddie Daniels, and Tom Harrell. Michael holds the Chair for Jazz Ensemble Conductor at the KUG Jazz Institute in Graz Austria. Check out “Jazz Composition and Arranging in the Digital Age” – the new book he wrote with Richard Sussman, published by Oxford University Press – heralded as a necessary aid to study.

Rich Willey: As a freelance jazz musician, Rich plays trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, bass trumpet, and has recently begun playing tuba (look out!). Rich has freelanced in literally thousands of situations and his experience is diverse and varied.

As a bandleader, Rich has presented music at functions and events with a quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, octet, nonet, dectet and even a sixteen-piece big band. Rich’s jazz bands are versatile, playing Latin, swing, dixieland, or bebop styles and employ some of the best players in the Asheville and Western North Carolina region.

As a composer, Rich has written music that has been in the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra book for nearly two decades. With over two hundred compositions to his credit, he continues writing and experimenting.