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UNF Grad Performs with Celebration of Lionel Hampton

Alex Nguyen, a 2007 graduate of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of North Florida, will be performing in the 2009 Jacksonville Jazz Festival at 11:30 a.m. with the Celebration of Lionel Hampton on Saturday, May 23, at the Swingin’ Stage, located at the corner of Laura and Forsyth streets.

The 24-year-old trumpeter currently lives in New York City and just graduated from SUNY Purchase, which has a world-class reputation for its arts programs, under the tutelage of trumpet luminary Jon Faddis. Since arriving in New York in 2007, he has performed with the likes of Vincent Herring and Jimmy Cobb. One of Nguyen’s compositions, “The First Year,” was released on pianist Kenny Barron’s latest recording, “The Traveler.”

Nguyen also plays with The Jazz Conceptions Orchestra, composed of nine young aspiring jazz performers and arrangers, eight of which are UNF alums. The jazz orchestra just released its self-titled debut album, “The Jazz Conceptions Orchestra,” during a CD release concert at Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. The CD is now available for purchase at http://cdbaby.com/cd/tjco.

The Jazz Conceptions Orchestra was founded in 2007 by four friends studying jazz at UNF. With a vision to pay homage to some of the classic big band repertoire through their own adaptations while writing new arrangements of jazz tunes, the group bridges the gap between the big band and small group sounds.

While at UNF, Nguyen performed with musicians such as Fred Wesley, Lynne Arriale, Curtis Fuller and Delbert Felix. He also was the winner of the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition and the Jamey Aebersold Award for Artistry at the National Trumpet Competition. Nguyen was among a handful of promising musicians invited to participate in residencies with Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead in Washington, D.C. and the Steans Institute for Young Artists in Chicago.

Among the venues he has performed are the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the Ravinia Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival to name a few.

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