Jazz in June lineup announced

A couple dances during a 2011 Jazz in June concert. The annual series opens June 5.
A couple dances during a 2011 Jazz in June concert. The annual series opens June 5.

Keyboardist Lao Tizer and his group, TIZER, open the Jazz in June season June 5 with their eclectic blend of jam-based world music, jazz and contemporary fusion.

Organized by the Sheldon Art Association and Sheldon Museum of Art, the free concerts take place every Tuesday in June at 7 p.m. with activities beginning as early as 5 p.m.

The 21st season of Jazz in June will also feature two UNL-based groups — the Darryl White Group and UNL Faculty Jazz Ensemble. The Darryl White Group will perform with guest artist Bobby Watson on June 12. The UNL Faculty Jazz Ensemble with guest vocalist Jackie Allen performs June 19.

The season concludes June 26 with saxophonist and composer Will Donato.

Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early to get a spot on the lawn west of the museum. Sheldon Art Association volunteers will sell water, T-shirts and artist CDs. Blankets and lawn chairs are allowed. Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not.

The Jazz in June Market at 12th and R streets begins at 5 p.m. each Tuesday. A wide variety of food and drink vendors are available, and local artists will be selling their wares.

Walking tours of campus gardens, organized by UNL Landscape Services, Department of Facilities Management and Planning, and Sheldon, are offered at 6 p.m. each night beginning at the east entrance of the museum. Descriptions of the tours are included below.

Super Sleuth scavenger hunts inside the museum will also begin at 6 p.m. every Tuesday. Jazz in June's youngest patrons are invited to pick up activity sheets on the west side of the museum and follow clues through its galleries. Josh the Otter, from the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation, will be on hand to teach kids about water safety.

Although the Jazz in June concert series is free, those attending are encouraged to make a donation of at least $10 per family to help ensure its continuation.

This year's performers and garden tours:

June 5: TIZER

Keyboardist Lao Tizer and his group, TIZER, open the series with their eclectic blend of jam-based world music, jazz and contemporary fusion. TIZER, including Tizer, Jeff Kollman, Rufus Philpot, Raul Pineda and Steve Nieves, last played the Sheldon series in 2008.

Since then, TIZER has performed internationally at festivals such as Joy of Jazz in Johannesburg, South Africa; Dubai Jazz Fest; Barbados Jazz Fest; Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia; and the Caribbean Sea Jazz Fest in Aruba. In 2010 the group released "TIZER Live," which captures the music and energy of the concert experience.

Tizer began playing piano at an early age on a piano originally purchased for his sister. "My parents always encouraged me to pursue my own creativity," he said, describing the origin of his flair for improvisation and composition. "I learned early on how to improvise and be musically adventurous."

Garden Tour — Mark Canney, park planner for Lincoln Parks and Recreation, will give a tour of Love Garden. The backdrop of Love Library creates a stately setting for the traditional entrance to the UNL City Campus. Love Garden's magnificent perennial flowerbeds and expansive lawn create an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors and textures. This tour will focus on combining the basics of the traditional English garden with the New American Style of garden design. Learn how to combine some of the oldest and most loved traditional plants with those best suited for our Nebraska climate and planting conditions.

June 12: Darryl White Group with guest artist Bobby Watson

The Darryl White Group returns to Jazz in June with guest artist Bobby Watson to perform works ranging from standards by Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk to original compositions by members of the group.

A professor of trumpet at UNL since 1997, White has been playing the horn since his youth in Warren, Ohio. Experienced in both classical and jazz, he has performed as a guest soloist with the Omaha Symphony, the Lake Forest Chamber Orchestra, and in a variety of venues, including the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City and Nebraska's statewide NET Radio. His albums include "In the Fullness of Time," "Ancient Memories," and the 2007 classical release, "Resonance," with ECM recording artist Art Lande.

Watson, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is a saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator. He was formally trained at the University of Miami and cut his teeth as the musical director of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, commonly referred to as the "University of Blakey" for its role as the ultimate postgraduate school for young musicians. His career has spanned more than 30 years and 130 recordings, including more than 100 original compositions. In late 2010, Watson released "The Gates BBQ Suite," a seven-part composition that climbed the National Jazz Airplay chart to No. 4.

Garden Tour — Bud Dasenbrock, retired director of UNL Landscape Services and member of the UNL Garden Friends board, will lead a tour of historic trees on campus. The tour will include 14 of the 39 species that are documented as having been planted by UNL gardeners 100 years ago on the original four-block land-grant campus. The trees that remain today are of historical significance and deserve special maintenance and care.

June 19: UNL Faculty Jazz Ensemble with guest vocalist Jackie Allen

The UNL Faculty Jazz Ensemble of Paul Haar, Eric Richards, Darryl White, Peter Bouffard, Tom Larson, Hans Sturm and Chris Varga, along with guest vocalist Jackie Allen, will fill the Sheldon sculpture garden with a blend of original songs and jazz standards.

The UNL Faculty Jazz Ensemble drew national attention in 2010 with its appearance on the NET Television and UNL School of Music program, "Jazz Cabaret," viewed by millions. The program captured the versatility and creativity audiences have come to expect from the group.

Allen, a vocalist, songwriter and recording artist with nine albums to her credit, has toured the world, including trips through Morocco, Brazil, Taiwan and China, where she was the only jazz artist to headline at the Beijing Music Festival. Her latest release, "Starry Night," is a live recording of Allen accompanied by the Muncie Symphony Orchestra performing star-themed songs arranged specifically for her.

Garden Tour — Sarah Feit, assistant curator of education at the Sheldon Museum of Art, will provide a tour of monumental masterpieces from the sculpture garden, including works by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Mark di Suvero, Roxy Paine and Richard Serra. This interactive, conversation-based tour will explore the materials, locations and meanings of the largest, most widely visible artworks in Sheldon's collection.

June 26: Will Donato
The 2012 season concludes with the smooth jazz of saxophonist and composer Will Donato.

Donato has performed with some of the best-known musicians of the genre: Al McKay of Earth, Wind and Fire, Bruce Conte of Tower of Power, and Steve Reid of The Rippingtons. Donato also fronted Reid's Bamboo Forest for four years. He has also worked with Gerald Levert and Richard Marx, and appeared on the soundtracks for "Under the Boardwalk," "No Man's Land," "Thelma and Louise" and "The Wedding Planner."

Garden Tour — Laurence Ballard, nursery supervisor for UNL Landscape Services, will lead a tour of recently planted trees on City Campus. He will tell the stories of some of the newest residents to establish roots on campus -- as well as those of a few waiting in the campus nursery. Learn how one tree, among all those available, is chosen to become part of UNL's life and landscape.

— Eileen Chalupa Boehmer, Sheldon Museum of Art

More details at: http://www.jazzinjune.com