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Drummer Peter Erskine Featured At CSUSB Jazz Fest

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Poem, a quartet featuring legendary jazz drummer Peter Erskine, will headline Cal State San Bernardino’s first jazz festival, which also will feature the CSUSB Jazz Band as well as the Riverside City College Jazz Ensemble.

Scheduled for May 21 from 7-10 p.m. in the campus Performing Arts Recital Hall, the jazz fest will bring the rest of Erskine’s quartet comprised of award-winning musicians Alan Pasqua, Darek Oles and Bob Mintzer.

Erskine will hold a special drum clinic at 4 p.m. in the Performing Arts Building, Room 127, for all interested drummers and percussion students.

Cal State San Bernardino music major Curtis Pettygrove has followed Erskine’s career and will have the opportunity to meet the man who has been a source of inspiration.

“Meeting Peter in person and being able to interact with him fulfills a dream that I have had since I started playing drums,” said Pettygrove.

A two-time Grammy Award winner, Erskine began his career in 1972 playing first for the Stan Kenton Orchestra, then with Maynard Ferguson and with Weather Report, where his collaborations with bassist Jaco Pastorius were key to the group’s success. He has also toured or recorded with Diana Krall, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and the Berlin and Los Angeles philharmonics.

When the jazz fest appears at CSUSB, Erskine will just be back from playing in the pit and on stage at the Royal Opera House in London for the premier of “Anna Nicole.”

The Riverside City College Jazz Ensemble, led by Charlie Richard, has been playing festivals and touring internationally for many years. Some of its gigs include appearances at the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of Texas and in Japan.

Directed by Bob Knop, the CSUSB Jazz Band opened for B.B. King when the blues guitarist performed at CSUSB in 2009. At the university, the band also has opened for blues artist John Cary and the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band.

Tickets for the CSUSB Jazz Fest are $25 for general admission and $10 for students. They can be purchased by calling the CSUSB music department box office at (909) 537-7516 or online at the music department’s website at music.csusb.edu.

For a digital image of Peter Erskine or his quartet, Poem, call the CSUSB Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537- 5007.

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