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McNally Smith Faculty Artist Performance Series Featured All-Star Band Led By Pete Whitman

The McNally Smith College of Music Faculty Artist Performance series will feature faculty members Pete Whitman, Jeff Bailey, Kevin Washington, and Pete Schimke in the March 2009 edition. Whitman, Washington, Schimke & Bailey perform a compelling mix of Latin, African and “straight ahead” jazz. Whitman, who is chair of McNally Smith’s Brass & Woodwind Department and a top saxophonist in the Twin Cities jazz scene, and bassist and McNally Smith bass faculty member Jeff Bailey are joined by fellow first-call musicians Kevin Washington (drums) and Peter Schimke (piano). Whitman, Washington, Schimke & Bailey will perform on Wednesday, March 25, at 7:00 PM at the McNally Smith Auditorium, 19 E. Exchange St. in St. Paul. Admission is free and open to the public and the concert will be followed by a reception.

About the Band

Pete Whitman-Saxophone Pete Whitman began his professional career gigging around Kansas City, Missouri in 1980 where he played in bands that included trumpeter Carmel Jones, guitarist Steve Cardenas and pianist Steve Million. After studying music at North Texas State University, Whitman toured the US, Japan and Brazil with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and settled in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area in 1988. He has since performed with such distinguished ensembles and musicians as the Minnesota Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Curtis Fuller, Dave Stryker, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Jazz Mn Big Band, JAZZAX Saxophone Quartet, Laura Caviani and Andres Prado. Whitman also leads a 10-piece ensemble called The X-tet that performs monthly at the Artist’s Quarter in St. Paul. He has recorded extensively as a sideman and has three CD’s out under his name: Departure Point (Igmod Records), The Sound of Water (Artegra) and Where’s When (Artegra). Whitman has written numerous original compositions and composed the original score for the documentary film Been Rich All My Life (2005). A dedicated educator, Whitman heads the Brass and Woodwinds Department at McNally Smith College as where he also teaches saxophone, improvisation and ensemble.

Jeff Bailey-Bass Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Jeff Bailey has performed in a wide variety of musical settings and continues to further his reputation as one of the Midwest’s most versatile and in demand musicians. He has performed with world-renowned jazz artists including Marvin Stamm, Jack McDuff, Terrell Stafford, Bill Carrothers, Eric Gravatt, Dave Pietro, Hannibal Peterson, Fred Ho, Craig Taborn and James Carter. Equally adept at electric and acoustic bass, Jeff has worked with funk and pop groups and has shared the stage with such major acts as Primus, Henry Rollins, Firehose, 24-7 Spyz, and De La Soul. Jeff Bailey is a founding member of the jazz/funk unit, Moveable Feast. That ensemble has released two critically acclaimed CDs and is popular with critics and fans alike. He has also produced three nationally distributed CDs for Lifescape records.  Regardless of the project or setting, Jeff Bailey always brings impeccable taste and musicianship. Jeff has served on the faculty of McNally Smith College since 1998. He teaches courses within the bass department well as studio performance techniques.

Kevin Washington-Drums In 2003 Kevin Washington’s stellar skills were featured in Modern Drummer Magazine, however his dedication to drumming began as soon as he could hold the sticks. And with teachers of such excellent caliber like Max Roach and Roy Brooks it was almost impossible for him to go wrong.  Born in 1975 in Detroit, Michigan to musicians and scholars Donald and Faye Washington, his musical career began at the early age of five when he played at the local jazz festival from 1981 to 1985.  As a young performer he also played in jazz festivals in Chicago, Illinois; Mobile, Alabama; and Hartford, Connecticut.  Kevin moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota when he was thirteen where as a teen he played with various bands in the jazz, Latin, funk, reggae and African idioms.  To this day Washington proves to be one of the most versatile drummers in the country.
In 1996 Washington moved to New York City to study jazz at the New School for Social Research.  He performed all over New York with different musical groups such as The Chico Freeman Quartet, Arnie Lawrence, Antonio Hart and James Carter to name a few.  During his stay in New York he was also a Rhythm Instructor at the Harlem School of the Arts.
Since leaving New York, Washington has been traversing the Twin Cities area with his highly sought after drum performance skills.  Washington has accompanied various visiting musicians such as Brian Lynch, Steve Slagle and Dave Stryker, David ‘Fat Head’ Newman, Rodney Jones and James Carter. He is the lead drummer with Moveable Feast; who released their second CD in 2002 and is in the process of recording their third; and The Kevin Washington trio.  He can also be found playing with other great musicians such as Cuban pianist Nachito Herrera, the incomparable members of Jazz is NOW! and vocalist Bruce Henry.  In April of 2006 Kevin accompanied Afro-Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado to Lima, Peru and performed at various music venues during a ten-day tour.  In July of 2003 Kevin, along with the Doug Little Quartet, embarked upon a month long European tour that covered locations including Germany, France, and Italy.
Currently, Kevin is teaching at McNally School of Music, provides private instruction at Walker West Academy and is working on his solo CD project that will include many of the top musicians in Minneapolis. Kevin also adds to the Minneapolis arts scene by hosting a weekly open mic for musicians, poets and vocalists as well as sharing his skills in Makkosa and Soukus rhythms. In his spare time Kevin devotes himself to composing music, teaching private lessons and honing his craft.

Peter Schimke-Piano Born and raised in Minneapolis, Peter Schimke
hails from a musical family. He began playing piano and drums at the age of eight. The music collection of his older brother, which included records by artists like B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Hendrix, and the Beatles, provided his earliest rock influences. By the age of twelve he was playing boogie-woogie and blues piano, while singing with his older brother’s blues band. ?After sitting in on vocals, keyboards and drums with bands throughout his teens, Peter’s first professional gig was with the New Psychenauts. He went on to be lead singer for the Swingin’ Combo; both bands were part of the early MPLS rock scene that launched the Replacements and Husker Du. It was about this time that he played his first professional rock gigs on keyboard, most notably with Hammond organ with blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite at the Blue Max on Maui. Peter graduated in music from William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and a scholarship to the Banff Arts Centre. Peter has also studied classical piano with James D. Johnson and Gary Kirkpatrick of the Verdehr Trio. He studied jazz piano with Brazilian pianist Manfredo Fest, Jim McNeely and Memphis born Harold Mabern. Over the years Peter has either toured, performed or recorded with, among others, Iffy, Likehell, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Fareed Haque, Mark Murphy (co-produced “The Latin Porter” for Ben Sidran’s Go Jazz label, Julee Cruise of “Twin Peaks”, El Buho, Jeff Sipe, Victor Wooten, Estaire Godinez ,Rita Coolidge and many more. Most recently, Peter has recorded a live concert with saxophonist Jerry Bergonzie that will be released on DVD as well as collaboration with Marcos Casal to be released on the label Universal Spain. He is also singing, playing and composing for his own new solo project that is currently in production. Peter has been on the keyboard faculty at McNally Smith College since 2008.