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Jazz at Five: UW Night

August 30, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

  • 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Swing Baby Swing with Kai Simone
  • 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: UW Jazz All Stars
  • 6:45 pm – 8:00 pm: UW Faculty Jazz Band

Swing Baby Swing w/ Kai Simone

The Skai Academy youth fusion cover band, Swing Baby Swing, was formed in 2012 by Kai Simone (executive director) and Emmanuel Turner (music director). Based in Milwaukee, the band is comprised of youth vocalists and instrumentalists between 10 and 15 years old from various cultural backgrounds.

The group is well known for its diverse musical styles and captivating live performances, playing everything from traditional to mainstream R&B, to rock-based music, to funk grooves, and even jazz stylings from the 1940s to present-day top 100.


UW Jazz All Stars

The UW All Stars features returning students selected from UW’s undergraduate jazz major and from UW’s jazz ensembles. The jazz program of the Mead Witter School of Music offers two undergraduate jazz studies degrees (a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and a Bachelor of Arts/Science with a jazz studies track), and a doctoral minor in jazz studies. A Masters of Music in Jazz Studies is currently under development.

UW’s jazz ensemble program consists of seven auditioned ensembles: the UW Jazz Orchestra (big band, which just celebrated its 55th anniversary), the Bridge Project (outreach and community engagement ensemble, including a jazz quartet and string quartet), the Blue Note Ensemble (each semester focuses on the music of one 1950s/1960s recording artist), the Jazz Composers Group (septet performs student and faculty compositions), the Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble (performs music of the Afro-Cuban diaspora), the Jazz Standards Ensemble (performs music from the jazz canon, with an emphasis on idiomatic performance practice), and the Contemporary Jazz Ensemble (focuses on the music of current recording artists and frequently performs with guest artists).

UW Faculty Jazz Quartet, feat. Lenard Simpson

Guitarist Louka Patenaude recently released his third album as a leader, Testing Your Patience. He plays with Tony Castaneda’s award-winning Latin Jazz Band and with Ben Sidran’s group. He has also performed with reggae group Natty Nation, the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and with notable jazz artists such as Tony Monaco, Richard Davis, Bob Rockwell, Billy Peterson, Richie Cole, Bob Malach, and Manty Ellis.

Pianist Dr. Johannes Wallmann directs the UW Jazz Studies program. A veteran of the New York and San Francisco Bay Area jazz scenes, he has released ten albums as a leader, including Elegy for an Undiscovered Species, which Downbeat magazine named a “Best of 2021” album. Wallmann is a Shifting Paradigm recording artist, a Yamaha Piano Artist, and an H.I. Romnes fellow.

Bassist Peter Dominguez returned to his alma mater in 2021 following professorships at Oberlin College and Michigan State University. A highly accomplished classical and jazz bass performer and educator, Dominguez’s jazz performance credits include Gary Bartz, Marcus Belgrave, Cyrus Chestnut, Eliane Elias, John Ellis, Tommy Flanagan, Billy Hart, JJ Johnson, Joe Lovano, Woody Shaw, Bobby Watson, and many others.

Drummer Dr. Matthew Endres teaches drum set and jazz history at the University of Wisconsin, and is the UW Marching Band Percussion Coordinator. He has performed extensively as a bandleader and a sideman. A native of Sauk City, Endres adjudicates music festivals and competitions throughout the United States.

The Quartet is joined by special guest saxophonist Lenard Simpson. In 2018, Milwaukee-born Simpson was selected for the Thelonious Monk Institute’s prestigious master’s program (now the Herbie Hancock Institute). Simpson is based in Chicago, playing as a leader and sideman with artists such as Marquis Hill and Kurt Elling. Simpson has taught at high profile jazz programs including The Herbie Hancock Institute’s Jazz in the Classroom, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, NIU jazz camp, and Birch Creek jazz camp, and he has served as an adjunct saxophone professor at Northern Illinois University.


August 30, 2023
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Jazz at Five


The Forum
100 State St.
Madison, Wi
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