Claflin News

Renowned Jazz Musician Ron Westray to Perform during Claflin University Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert April 12

Sep 30, 2011


Ron Westray

The Claflin University Jazz Ensemble will perform their annual spring concert on Tuesday, April 12. Renowned jazz trombonist Ron Westray and a cast of other seasoned jazz musicians will join the Jazz Ensemble on stage for a special performance during the concert.

“We invite all music lovers to come witness what is sure to be a remarkable collaboration between veteran jazz performers and our talented students,” said Dr. Mitch Butler, director of jazz studies at Claflin.

Admission is free and the public is invited and encouraged to attend. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center on campus. The concert is part of Claflin's Arts and Letters Annual Bash (CALA-Bash) that starts on Sunday, August 8 and ends on Saturday, August 16.

Butler noted the Jazz Ensemble and featured performers will play selections from Westray's first album Bone Structure. Prior to the performance, Westray will also teach a master class to students in the Department of Music and the public.

Other featured performers will include drummer Ernest Turner of Durham, N.C.; bassist Herman Burney of Washington, D.C. and drummer Quentin Baxter of Charleston. Butler, a nationally known trombone player, will also perform with his students.

In addition to other selections, the ensemble will perform songs from Westray's first album, a collaboration with artist fellow Wycliffe Gordon entitled “Bone Structure”.

Westray is currently the Oscar Peterson Chair of Jazz Performance at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has performed with a wide variety of legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan. He is best known for his work as the lead trombonist with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.

Westray is a graduate of neighboring South Carolina State University. This will be the first time he has performed in Orangeburg since then.

For more on the Claflin Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert, contact Butler by phone at (803) 535-5480 or by e-mail at


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