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September 16, 2013

Stefon Harris and the Blackout Band to Perform for Diehn Concert Series

Composer, vibraphonist and marimbist Stefon Harris and the Blackout Band will perform at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, for the Diehn Concert Series. The concert, and a master class at 1:30 p.m. that day, will be in Chandler Recital Hall of the Diehn Center for the Performing Arts.

Harris' passionate artistry, energetic stage presence and astonishing virtuosity have propelled him into the forefront of the current jazz scene. He is widely recognized and lauded by his peers and jazz critics alike, and is committed to both exploring the rich potential of jazz composition and blazing new trails on the vibraphone. He is the recipient of the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center. The Los Angeles Times called him "one of the most important young artists in jazz."

A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, Harris received a bachelor's degree in classical music and a master's in jazz performance. He earned three consecutive Grammy nominations including Best Jazz Album for "The Grand Unification Theory" (2003) and "Kindred" (2001), and his 1999 release of "Black Action Figure" for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. North Sea Jazz (Netherlands) gave Harris its prestigious International 2002 Bird Award for Artist Deserving Wider Recognition.

He has been voted Best Mallet player by Jazz Times and the Jazz Journalist Association; Debut Artist of the Year by Jazz Times; a Rising Star by Vibraphone; and Best Jazz CD, Best New Talent by Newsweek.

An active educator, Harris currently teaches at New York University and is artist in residence at Fontana Chamber Arts (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and has held similar posts with San Francisco Performances, the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and the Monk Institute in Los Angeles.

He created a unique interactive program with poets from around the world at the University of Iowa's famed International Writer's Workshop and has held several

board positions with leading music organizations.

Tickets for the concert are $15 for general admission and $10 for students; the master class is free and open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online at oduartstix.com or by calling 683-5305 during regular box office hours.