Texas Quintet to bring its brand of jazz to Wichita

News Date: 
Mon. 09/30/2013

Jazz trumpeter Mike Steinel and his quintet of world-class musicians will perform Oct. 3 in Friends University’s Alumni Auditorium. 

Steinel, a former Kansan who grew up in Marion, is an internationally recognized jazz performer and educator who has taught jazz studies at the prestigious University of North Texas for 26 years. He has appeared in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and has performed with Bill Evans, Clark Terry, Ella Fitzgerald and Don Ellis to name a few. Additionally, Steinel recorded with the Chicago Jazz Quintet and the Frank Mantooth Big Band. He is most well known for being the author of “Essential Elements for Jazz Ensemble,” a popular jazz band method used by middle-school musicians around the world. 

Accompanying Steinel will be singer Rosana Eckert, who toured with The New York Voices and performed with Christian McBride, Lyle Mayes and Bobby McFerrin. Her debut CD, “At the End of the Day,” was a finalist for best new jazz album in the 2006 Independent Music Awards.

Pianist Pat Coil will be joining the group for their tour of Kansas. Coil is a graduate of the University of North Texas and began his professional career with the Woody Herman Orchestra in the 1970s. For the past three decades he has lived in Nashville and toured the world with Michael McDonald, Carmen McCrae, Amy Grant and Vince Gill. He has also recorded with Natalie Cole, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Travis Tritt and Peter Cetera (of Chicago). 

Rounding out the group will be bassist Jeff Eckels and drummer Steve Barnes. Eckels, who was for many years the bassist for the popular NPR quiz show “What Do You Know,” spent most of his career in Madison, Wis., working as a freelancer and has played with Richie Cole, Ernie Watts, Tom Scott, Scott Henderson and John Abercrombie. Barnes recently relocated to Texas after many years in the Los Angeles area working with Richie Cole, Diane Schure, Sonny Stitt and Bud Shank.

Steinel has long-time ties to the central Kansas area. His parents – Connie and Lois Steinel – met at Bethany College in the late 1940s. His father was a graduate of Wichita State University and band director for many years in Marion and Emporia. Mike served from 1979 to ‘83 as artist in residence at Bethel College and was the founder of the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble. 

“I am truly excited about returning to Kansas to perform, and having the opportunity to bring this great band to Friends, a place for which I have many fond musical memories,” Steinel said. “In 1969 I attended ‘Symphony of Spring’ with my future wife, Beverly Hoch, who later attended Friends and was a Singing Quaker. A few years later I performed with the Emporia State University Jazz Ensemble on stage at Friends when we won the Wichita Jazz Festival. For music, Friends has been and remains a truly special place.”

Tickets are $9 for adults, and $6 for seniors and students. They may be purchased online or by calling the Fine Arts Box Office at 316-295-5677.

For more information about this event or other Fine Arts events, please contact the Fine Arts Box Office at 316-295-5677 or finearts@friends.edu.

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