Today’s article is by guest author Joyce Markle.
Heads up! It’s not every day that a great tenor player, well-traveled in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. makes time in his busy tour schedule to visit Madison. Later this week, Los Angeles saxophonist Dennis Mitcheltree makes a rare visit to Madison to play three dates with his friend, UW Professor of Jazz Studies, Johannes Wallmann. All are free.
- Saturday, March 2nd, 8-11pm, Dennis joins Johannes at his weekly gig at The Fountain, 122 State Street.
- Sunday, March 3rd, 4 – 7:30 pm, Dennis performs and coaches local players at Madison Jazz Jam at The Fountain.
- Tuesday, March 5th, 7:30-9:30 pm, Johannes performs a program of original compositions as part of the UW Faculty Recital Series. Dennis and UW Parkside Professor of Jazz Studies trumpeter Russ Johnson are featured. Morphy Hall in the UW Humanities Bldg.
Dennis Mitcheltree’s name should be famous here: he was born in Milwaukee and played in the UW-Oshkosh Jazz band as a high school student! But in his twenties, he headed East to experience the happening scenes in the clubs around New York City and Boston. It worked. His career blossomed: he did T.V. and films; he tours frequently; and he makes time for teaching and coaching, in L.A. where he now lives.
What kind of jazz does he like? Well, he’s steeped in the tradition of Miles, Coltrane, Monk, Powell, Mingus, Ellington, and Strayhorn, and states, “only by in-depth study of the past jazz masters have I been able to take the music into my own personal direction.” And what direction is that? “Over the last few years my music has taken a decided twist towards the topical. The political climate since the turn of the millennium has provided me with a wealth of material to inspire my musical direction.”
Sound interesting? You have three chances to hear him: next Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Fountain, and the following Tuesday at Morphy Hall in the UW Humanities Building.