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WKU Jazz Band News

October 7th, 2022

It was a beautiful day for the WKU Jazz Band outdoor concert. Under the direction of John Martin, they performed works by Count Basie, Glen Miller, Cole Porter, and many others. 🎶

Fall 22 Outdoor Concert



September 29th, 2022

This was an amazing Jazz Improvisation Masterclass with Jamey Aebersold. Mr. Aebersold is an internationally-known saxophonist and authority on jazz education and improvisation.

Jamey Aebersold

Jazz Improv with Jamey Aebersold


September 19th, 2022

Save the Date!!


Save the Date


April 22-23rd, 2022

We hosted the first WKU Jazz Honor Band!

The first ever WKU Jazz Honor Band was a success! We hosted over 60 students from 17 different high schools in the region, to work with the WKU Jazz Band Director, Dr. Sarah Herbert and 3 guest clinicians: Dr. Patrick Harbison, Mr. Sean Dobbins, and Ms . Meghan Pund. On Saturday, the WKU Jazz Band, 3 Honor Big Bands, and the Honor Jazz Combo performed in a lively concert in the DSU Auditorium.

Jazz Honor Band Program

Jazz Honor Band Program


Jazz Honor Band Program

Jazz Honor Band Program


Jazz Honor Band

Jazz Honor Band


April 20th, 2022

The WKU Jazz Band welcomed Stephen Wadsack for a Trumpet Masterclass and recital, featuring Kimberly Russ on piano.

Stephen Wadsack Bio:

Trumpet artist Stephen M. Wadsack is a dynamic performer, educator, and coach/consultant; his career has already taken him around the country, appearing onstage in projects ranging from "Pop/Top 40" cover bands to performances with world-renowned musicians across various genres.

Currently based in Greater Cincinnati, Stephen performs regularly as a freelancer, soloist, chamber musician, and in large ensemble settings; recent engagements include performances with the Dayton Philharmonic (OH), Lexington Philharmonic (KY), Springfield (OH), Richmond (IN), and Kentucky symphony orchestras. Stephen is also a frequent performer with the Linton Chamber Music series - a subsidiary of the Cincinnati Symphony - which presents dozens of performances annually, specifically designed for young people. Equally at home in all musical styles, Stephen is frequently called upon to perform in jazz and commercial music idioms, as well as for studio recording and arranging work. He can be seen and heard in the live band at Kings Island amusement park, which performs for approximately 3.5 million guests each year over an 8-month season.

As an educator, Wadsack works passionately to inspire future generations of musicians, teachers, and patrons of the arts. Currently, he serves on faculty at both Wilmington College (OH) and Thomas More University (KY), in addition to maintaining a competitive private studio. Stephen is also widely recognized as an engaging guest artist, speaker, and clinician; this summer, he will appear at the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) Conference in San Antonio, TX, as well as the inaugural North American Baroque Trumpet Conference in Lexington, KY.


Outside of music, Stephen loves connecting with family, friends, and former students. He is happily married to "adventure partner" Casey, and enjoys a variety of activities: spending time outdoors, board games, fly fishing, all things coffee, and even brewing his own beer!


For more information about Stephen, please visit: stephenwadsack.com  

Kimberly Russ Bio:

Pianist Kimberly Russ celebrates a diverse musical career. Before moving to Cincinnati in 2016, she spent fourteen years as the Resident Pianist for the Seattle Symphony at the invitation of Maestro Gerard Schwarz. Additionally, Ms. Russ has appeared as Principal Keyboard for the nationally televised PBS series, All Star Orchestra. She is continually in demand as soloist and orchestral pianist, performing with the Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Kentucky Symphony, and the Lexington Philharmonic, among others.


An active recording artist, Kimberly can be heard on recordings, Pokemon Re-Orchestrated: Double Team! (YouTube, iTunes, and Loudr), Pura Vida, with Peter Ellefson, trombone (iTunes), Short Stories, with Melia Watras, viola (iTunes), Bhavani’s Oboe, with Bhavani Kotha, oboe (Naxos). Most recently, Ms. Russ can be heard on WGUC-radio’s newest fundraiser promotional recording performing Madeline Dring’s Trio for Flute, Oboe, and Piano with Suzanne Bona, flute, and Bonnie Farr, oboe.

Ms. Russ is the Founder and Director of Harmony for Heroes, a non-profit chamber music outreach program for our veterans, military, and their families. Harmony for Heroes is inspired by her son, a former enlisted Marine who served as a Combat Engineer in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and who is currently serving as a United States Marine Corps First Lieutenant.

March 5th, 2022

The WKU Jazz Band welcomed The Conner Eisenmenger Quintet in concert at Van Meter Auditorium.


About The Conner Eisenmenger Quintet:


Conner Eisenmenger - trombone

Garret Wingfield - saxophone

Nicholas Olynciw - piano

Cam Gooden - Bass

John Sturino - drums


Seattle based trombonist and Denis Wick Artist Conner Eisenmenger's experience as a musician is as varied as it is substantial.  Eisenmenger holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Western Kentucky University and a Master's degree in Jazz Studies from University of North Texas where he studied with Tony Baker and Andre Hayward.  When not practicing the trombone or composing, Eisenmenger can be found overseeing the Beat Lab composition club at Federal Way Public Schools, caring for his cat, Emmy, or making his own compost from yard waste and food scraps.


Jazz Band poster


Conner Eisenmenger

Eisenmenger’s latest project, “Conner Eisenmenger’s Think Tank,” is made up of UNT alumni and bandmates as members of the seven-time Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band.  During their time with the band they toured Australia with a performance at the 2016 Generations in Jazz Festival in Mount Gambier, South Australia, Performed at the 2017 Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California, and members of the Think Tank can be heard on four One O’Clock albums.


The Think Tank itself was created near the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has only existed in a virtual form until this tour.  Even as a remote ensemble, the group has performed at the 2021 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference and was invited to perform as artists at the 2022 Jazz Education Network Annual Conference.  Just as the viewer can see ‘the hand of the artist” in the details and lines of a hand-drawn illustration, all of the works composed by Eisenmenger for the Think Tank focus on preserving the integrity of gestural melodies and themes that were first created largely through recorded improvisation and later notated as sheet music.  During isolation at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after a few too many “virtual concerts” and “remote recording sessions”, Eisenmenger set out to compose a body of work with the express purpose of celebrating improvisation, listening, empathy, and the type of intrinsically human music making that can only occur when listeners and musicians can join each other in the same room as a musical community.

Jazz Band


Guitar Solo

Dr. Sarah Herbert


Sax Solo


February 4th, 2022

Jazz at KMEA




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 Last Modified 10/21/22