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Resident Faculty Jazz Quartet
Andrew Rathbun-saxophones, Jeremy Siskind-piano, Tom Knific-bass, Keith Hall-drums
The WESTERN JAZZ QUARTET is a resident faculty ensemble in the School of Music at Western Michigan University. Formed in 1974, the quartet combines performing and teaching with uncommon success as they promote jazz music and jazz education through a very active schedule of tours, concerts and workshops. Activities range from performances for school children of all ages to concerts, tours and recordings with such artists as Art Farmer, Stefon Harris, Tim Hagans, Kenny Werner, Billy Hart, Mark Murphy, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Janis Siegel, and Bobby McFerrin.
In 2012, after a retirement and shift in faculty, the NEW WESTERN JAZZ QUARTET was born with Rathbun, Siskind, Hall and the veteran Tom Knific. The NEW WJQ will be releasing a new CD in the fall of 2013 complete with a tour of Russia and concerts around the U.S.
The Western Jazz Quartet has performed from Boston to Los Angeles, and tours regularly world wide. It has been featured at festivals in Canada, Europe and the U.S., and at a week of performances at La Villa in Paris, France. The group was honored with sponsorship by the Arts America Program and often tours as artistic ambassadors for the US Department of State including Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Poland, Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia. The quartet has also toured Europe four times with pianist Wlodek Pawlik, drum legend Billy Hart, and jazz legend Randy Brecker.