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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Educator brings a rare classical jazz opportunity to SL

Monday, September 8, 2003

No matter what your musical tastes, Dr. David Klee promises a night of enchanting music at Buena Vista University on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

That enchanting music will be compliments of Klee and a trio of other musicians who will be performing Claude Bolling's "Suite For Flute & Jazz Trio No. 2." The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium on the BVU campus as part of the Academic and Cultural Events Series (ACES). The event is free and open to the public.

Klee is the director of jazz studies and an assistant professor of music at BVU, and in an effort to bring quality music to the Storm Lake community, he is spearheading this performance.

There hasn't been a lot of performance by the BV faculty, so I wanted to do something," Klee said about why the performance was initiated. "It's French jazz, meaning it's lighter jazz. It makes you want to dance. It's fun for the listener."

Since Klee has an extensive background in flute performance, he chose to do Bolling's Suite. The "Suite for Flute & Jazz Trio" by Claude Bolling is billed as "a mixture of classical and jazz elements that will be sure to enlighten and entertain everyone. Prepare yourself for an evening of nonstop excitement that will leave you breathless and wanting for more. French jazz at its best!"

Klee is very excited to be able to put on this performance in Storm Lake.

"I want to show the community that they don't have to go to Chicago or New York to hear this kind of music. They have local people who can do it," Klee said. "I want the whole world to know about it. I think they need to come and enjoy some great music."

Klee said that Bolling specifically wrote the piece in 1987 for the flutist Jean Pierre Rampal, who before his death, was regarded as one of the best flutists in the world. Klee said that to his own credit, Bolling is the most recorded flute player of all-time.

"It's a marriage between jazz and classical music," Klee said of the Suite. "It's rarely been performed, though. It's difficult to find musicians who are good enough in both jazz and classical music to play this."

The musicians who are up to the task are Klee on flute, Beth Rowlet on piano, Jim Christensen on drums and Jeff Portma on bass. Rowlet is the instructor of piano at BVU and Christensen has performed professionally, while Portma is a student at Northwestern and has played with the Sioux City Symphony.

"We're blessed in the BV community to have someone like Beth," Klee said. "People really don't know how good she is. This is a monster piano part."

Klee encourages everyone to come experience this colorful mixture of classical and jazz melodies.

"It will be an exciting time for the whole family," Klee said. "Kids will like it, too, since it's fast-paced."