Cal Poly’s New Director of Jazz Studies to Give Recital with Guests on Oct. 18

Arthur WhiteSAN LUIS OBISPO — Arthur White, Cal Poly’s new director of jazz studies, will perform a jazz saxophone recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, in the Pavilion of the Performing Arts Center. 

The program will feature the world premiere of his first long-form jazz work, “Pictures of the Heartland.”

 The nine-movement suite is a musical homage to a variety of beautiful, if not iconic, landscapes in Kansas and Missouri. White is a Kansas native who spent several years of his professional career teaching and performing throughout the Midwest. He will perform with members of his band, MERGE, as well as vibraphonist Joe Locke and legendary drummer Peter Erskine.

Prior to this appointment at Cal Poly, White was the director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri (MU) and Northeastern State University (NSU) in Oklahoma. At MU, he produced six critically acclaimed recordings by the MU concert jazz band. During his tenure at NSU, White produced five CDs with the NSU Jazz Ensemble, one of which was named one of the 10 best college jazz recordings in 2007. NSU named him as a Centurion, one of the 100 most influential people in the university’s history. He was also named the 2007 Oklahoma Jazz Educator of the Year by the Oklahoma Jazz Educators Alliance.

Ensembles under White’s direction have recorded with many notable modern jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, Sean Jones, Mike Mainieri, and Russell Malone.

White is also in demand as an arranger. He has written music for jazz luminaries Christian McBride, Bobby Watson, Meshell Ndegeocello and Robin Eubanks. UNC Jazz Press, Second Floor Music and publish White’s music.

White earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from Emporia State University, a Master of Music in jazz pedagogy from West Virginia University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His debut album, “when you find it,” recorded with his band, MERGE, will be released this fall on the Artists Recording Collective label. More information on White is on the Music Department faculty website.

Locke is a three-time winner of the prestigious Jazz Journalists Association Vibraphonist of the Year award. He is widely considered to be one of the major voices of his instrument.

Erskine appears on 700 albums and film scores. He has won two Grammy Awards and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Berklee School of Music. Fifty albums have been released under his name or as co-leader.

Tickets are $9 for students and $14 for the public.

Tickets are sold at the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849). Event parking is sponsored by the PAC.

The Music Department offers a 10 percent discount to patrons who buy season tickets to four of its events through the CalPoly Ticket Office; a 15 percent discount is given on tickets to five or more events.

The concert is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department and College of Liberal Arts. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit the department’s calendar website at

Contact: Michele Abba

September 23, 2019

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