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Gene Aitken

Director

Gene Aitken

Grammy-nominated Gene Aitken is considered one of the most exciting and energetic jazz clinicians today, and is recognized as a visionary in both jazz education and computer technology.

In June 2007, he was awarded DownBeat magazine's Jazz Educator of the Year and inducted into the DownBeat magazine's Hall of Fame. In addition, he was the 32nd member inducted into the 1995 International Association of Jazz Educator's Hall of Fame along with Ella Fitzgerald and Doc Severinson, joining luminaries such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and others.

Dr. Aitken is only one of four individuals in the world who have received induction into both organizations' Hall of Fame. In 1985, the University of Northern Colorado Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under his direction, was awarded a prestigious Grammy Nomination by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. It is the only time NARAS has ever awarded this honor to an institution of higher education in the vocal jazz area. Dr. Aitken currently spends most of his time teaching jazz and music education in Asia and the Middle East, and has recently retired as Director of the Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore. His activities as a conductor, performer, composer, adventurer, clinician, adjudicator, and producer of educational events have led him to all corners of the globe. His recent travels to Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq from June through August 2009 brought him to some of the most dangerous places in the world in which to teach music.

This summer, Dr. Aitken will travel again to the Middle East conducting and teaching for the Houston-based non-profit organization, American Voices and the YES Academy (Youth Excellence on Stage). Concerts and 10-day master classes will be held in the countries of Thailand, Myanmar, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

This past year, 2009, Dr. Aitken was appointed to the music faculties of the Shangai Conservatory of music, the Nanchang Conservatory of Music (Nanchang, China), and the Xhinghai Conservatory of Music (Guangzhou, China). Each year he will present concerts and/or master classes at these institutions.

In June 2007, Dr. Aitken was appointed the first Cultural Envoy to Nepal for the US Department of State. While there he worked with the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory Jazz Ensemble, the Nepal Police Academy Band, and the Nepal Army Band. Dr. Aitken resides in Bangkok, Thailand.

Discography

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot IX: United Jazz Artists : 00  1 CD : Gene Aitken :  : VJ1947

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot IX: United Jazz Artists

Review: Master director and educator Gene Aitken of the famed University of Northern Colorado's Jazz Studies Program shows off three of his best groups on "Hot IX," mixed-voice jazz quintet the Axidentals, who are accompanied by a hot jazz band on 8 songs like Duke Ellington's "Caravan," Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" and Kurt Weil's "Mack the Knife," also perform one nice a cappella cut, "Quiet Now." 3-men, 3-women a cappella ensemble Et Cetera then gives us nice covers of "Singing In The Rain," Harold Arlen's "If I Only Had a Brain" and Randy Crenshaw's "Scat Blues in C." All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 finishes with a hot accompanied cover of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia," a moody a cappella cover of "For All We Know," and accompanied covers of "We" and Gloria Estefan's "Get On Your Feet." This is another strong, spirited collection from these 3 great UNC jazz ensembles.

Songlist: Bam Bam Bam, Caravan, A Sleeping Bee, Quiet Now, You're Nobody, Got to Get You Into My Life, You Can Call Me Al, Mack the Knife, Ray Idea, Singing in the Rain, If I Only Had A Brain, Scat Blues in C, A Night In Tunisia, For All We Know, We, Get On Your Feet

\'More
7644c 00 1 CD $14.95 Vocal Jazz CDs


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XI: Signed, Sealed, & Delivered : 00  1 CD : Gene Aitken :  : 1949

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XI: Signed, Sealed, & Delivered

Review: Renowned director Gene Aitken is considered one of the most exciting and energetic educators and clinicians today, and his Jazz Studies Program at the University of Northern Colorado has received a Grammy nomination and more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other institution. The 3-man, 2-women Axidentals perform with a very hot 5-piece jazz ensemble, but they also have several fine a cappella cuts on "Hot XI," including Rodgers & Hart's "My Heart Stood Still," Mark Murphy's "Gone," "It Don't Mean a Thing," and Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday." All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 also perform "Invitation" and "Love for Sale" with 5-piece jazz accompaniment. Two man, 3 woman a cappella jazz ensemble Et Cetera's "Paradise," "Old Man River" and a cover of the Average White Band's "Pick Up The Pieces" are other favorites. An excellent collection from some of the best Collegiate jazz groups in the country!

Songlist: Somethin's Coming, My Heart Stood Still, Gone, Lazy River, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Yatra Ta, Teach Me Tonight, Come Sunday, Night and Day, Invitation, Love for Sale, Paradise, Old Man River, Pick Up the Pieces

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7642c 00 1 CD $14.95 Vocal Jazz CDs


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XII: Dancing Particles : 00  1 CD : Gene Aitken :  : 1950

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XII: Dancing Particles

Review: The University of North Colorado in Greeley's choice of renowned educator and clinician Gene Aitken as Director of their Jazz Studies Program was a very, very good move, leading to an unprecedented Grammy nomination and more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other institution. Featured here are his 3-man, 2-woman Axidentals, performing here with some jazz ensemble accompaniment on P. Winter's title tune (arranged by Randy Crenshaw), "Soul With a Capital "S," and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things;" but also a cappella on the traditional "Shenandoah," Anders Edenroth's "Chile Con Carne" and the scattish "There'll Never Be Another You." Two man, 3 woman a cappella jazz ensemble Et Cetera's "For the Beauty of the Earth," which soars into surprising directions, and a cover of Sting's "Seven Days" follow. All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 close with B. Dorough's upbeat, accompanied "I've Got Just About Everything" and the moody, a cappella "You Don't Know What Love Is." "Hot XII" is everything we've come to expect fro the UNC Jazz Studies Program, top-quality, well-chosen, beautifully performed and directed, Collegiate Jazz!

Songlist: Dancing Particles, I'm Beginning to See the Light, Shenandoah, Chili Con Carne, There'll Never Be Another You, Soul With a Capital"S", My Favorite Things, For the Beauty of the Earth, Seven Days, I've Got Just About Everything, You Don't Know What Love is

\'More
7641c 00 1 CD $14.95 Vocal Jazz CDs


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XIII: It Ain't Necessarily So : 00  1 CD : Gene Aitken :  : 1951

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XIII: It Ain't Necessarily So

Review: The University of Northern Colorado is one of the most well respected educational centers for vocal jazz studies thanks to the efforts of Gene Aitken, the director of the program since 1976. You will not believe that these are all "students" for their singing is so good and the arrangements so sophisticated it doesn't seem possible, even though it is true. The bulk of the album, 14 of the 17 tracks, is sung by Et Cetera a mixed sextet. Though jazz predominates with such selections as "For The One I Love" and "As Rain" by Anders Edenroth of the Real Group or "One More Time Chuck Corea" by Gene Puerling, there is a strong rock 'n roll presence. The final three tunes were recorded live by a larger jazz chorus, Vocal Jazz I. Discover this one! It's a sleeper.

Songlist: It Ain't Necessarily So, Episode: Prelude, For The One I Love, Every Breath You Take, Kiss From A Rose, Kite, Out Of Town, Shambala, Gone With The Wind, I'll Be There For You, As Rain, Won't You Be My Neighbor, One More Time Chuck Corea, Unchained Melody, Vocal Jazz I, Brasilia, Move On Over, Harvest

\'More
4797c 00 1 CD $14.98 Vocal Jazz CDs

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