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Jazz I concert to feature music from collection of jazz greats

April 19, 2013

EAU CLAIRE — Music from one of the largest jazz collections in the country will be performed at 7:30 p.m. April 26 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The university's Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Robert Baca, professor of music and director of jazz studies, will perform more than a half-dozen arrangements from the collection UW-Eau Claire acquired from Edward "Pete" Petersen in July 2012. The collection, valued at $200,000, contains nearly 1,000 charts and more than 1,000 recordings gathered by Petersen, a big-band leader from Arlington, Texas, over a 60-year period. (See 2012 news release about the acquisition of the collection.)

Jazz Ensemble I will perform arrangements originally written for Petersen and his ensemble, The Collection Jazz Orchestra.

"These pieces were performed regularly by Pete Petersen's ensemble," Baca said. "But none of them have been performed recently."

Baca, who said he has been a fan of Pete Petersen & The Collection Jazz Orchestra since he was in college, will have the opportunity to perform under the direction of the big band leader when Petersen himself conducts at the Jazz Ensemble I performance.

"To have the honor of performing these selections and the greater honor of having Pete Petersen here conducting these works is the fulfillment of a career dream," Baca said. "The Pete Petersen collection music represents a day when many big bands were still traveling on the road, but a few bands stayed in their local areas. Yet, the talent in those bands was so immense they were as well known as the most famous who traveled from city to city. Pete Petersen & The Collection Jazz Orchestra was one of those bands."

The collection UW-Eau Claire acquired from Petersen has been named the John L. Buchholz Jazz Library after the UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of English and longtime jazz musician and supporter of jazz studies. Woody Herman, Sammy Nestico, Count Basie, Neil Hefti, Shorty Rogers, Maynard Ferguson, Bill Holman, Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Henry Mancini and Glenn Miller are some of the jazz musicians whose original charts and recordings (many of which are autographed and one of a kind) are in the collection.

Since the collection was acquired in July, the Special Collections and Archives department in McIntyre Library has been organizing the charts and recordings.

"Upon receipt of the collection last summer my department began the process of acquiring physical and intellectual control over the collection," said Greg Kocken, McIntyre Library's head of special collections, university archives and records management. "We completed the inventory of the charts last December, and the inventory of the recorded library was finished last week.

"In upcoming weeks the collection will be fully accessible for academic use by students, faculty and other researchers," Kocken said.

Tickets for the Jazz Ensemble I performance are $6 for general admission; $4 for UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff, senior citizens and children under 17; and $1.50 for UW-Eau Claire students who present their student ID. Ticket information is available by calling the UW-Eau Claire Service Center at 715-836-3727.



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