University of Iowa faculty to perform in B.J. Haan

Four members of Jazz Faculty Quintet to present concert November 8

University of Iowa faculty

The Iowa Jazz Faculty Quintet is bringing four members for a concert in the B.J. Haan Auditorium on Friday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m. The performance will include Damani Phillips (saxophone), Blake Shaw (bass), James Dreier (drums), and Steve Grismore (guitar).

Dr. Damani Philips is a native of Pontiac, Michigan, where he began playing music at the age of 10. He currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies and Associate Professor of African-American Studies at the University of Iowa. An active performer, pedagogue, and composer, Dr. Phillips has taught and performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. He is actively sought as a guest artist, clinician, lecturer, panelist, and adjudicator throughout the country. 

James Dreier is a drum set-Latin percussion specialist, educator, clinician, and performer. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and a Master of Arts degree in music theory from the University of Iowa. Mr. Dreier was a founding member of the Iowa based-Latin/jazz group Orquesta Alto Maiz. He now leads his own Latin jazz group Ritmocano.

Steve Grismore has been playing the guitar for more than 50 years and is one of the most in-demand players in eastern Iowa and beyond. Upon graduation, Steve returned to the Midwest where he joined the R & B band the Rhythm Rockers and started teaching at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. A couple of years later, he returned to school and received his B.M. in Composition and an M.A. in Music Theory from the University of Iowa and soon after, became Director of Jazz Studies at The University of Iowa from 1990-93.

Blake Shaw is a former jazz master’s degree student (now alumnus) of the University of Iowa jazz program. Shaw completed his bachelor’s degree in music and has played in gigs leading him to locations as far as Australia.

The concert is free and open to the public.