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“An Evening of Jazz with Russell Wilson and Friends” Kicks Off WUMR’s Radiothon at Ground Zero Blues Club on June 14 University News
For release: May 22, 2009

For press information, contact Simone Notter Wilson, 901-678-4164



University of Memphis alum and distinguished jazz pianist Russell Wilson will be the headliner at this year’s kick-off concert for WUMR’s Jazz in June Radiothon on Sunday, June 14, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The event at Ground Zero Blues Club downtown (across from FedExForum) will also feature a variety of local names in jazz such as Joyce Cobb, Erroll Thomas, Renardo Ward, and The Lanny McMillan Quartet with Chris Parker, Scott Reed and Austin Bradley, as well as a special guest appearance by Jack Cooper, U of M professor of jazz music.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets will go on sale at Davis-Kidd Booksellers (387 Perkins Extended, 901-683-9801) May 23 and are available there through June 13.

Memphis native Wilson is a classical and jazz pianist who received his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Memphis. Formerly a member of Virginia Union University’s music faculty, he now teaches at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University, performs with the Russell Wilson Quartet and Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra, and was pianist with the Joe Kennedy Quartet. He enjoys a distinguished career as a solo and chamber performer. As principal pianist for the Richmond Symphony, he has performed as a soloist and has accompanied world-class artists, including Mel Torme, Richard Hyman, Cab Calloway, Chet Atkins, Steve Allen, and Carol Lawrence.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the Bob McDowell Fund, established in memory of WUMR’s longtime general manager, who died of cancer last spring. The fund supports station operations. The Jazz in June Radiothon on WUMR (U-92) runs June 14-21.

WUMR is the only jazz station in the Mid-South. Known as “The Jazz Lover,” the 25,000-watt station serves listeners within a 60-mile radius of Memphis. Its playlist blends contemporary and traditional jazz with a touch of fusion, Latin, and New Age music. WUMR is staffed almost exclusively by students and volunteers, and serves the area with educational, sports, and community service programming. It functions as a learning laboratory for students, providing them experience in announcing, news-reporting and writing, talk-show hosting, and sports broadcasting.


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