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Noted jazz drummer will give clinic, perform with trio

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Noted New York-based jazz drummer Pete Zimmer is the latest guest artist to visit Bethel College to work with students and give a free public concert.

The Pete Zimmer Trio – Zimmer along with Ben Leifer on bass and Andrew Ouellette on piano – will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 3 in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

Earlier in the day, from 4-6 p.m., the trio will do a clinic with Bethel jazz students, also in Krehbiel Auditorium and open to the public.

The trio is currently on tour in the Midwest, including a March 1 appearance at the Take Five Café & Bar in Kansas City, along with Matt Otto, and a drum clinic and masterclass at Wichita State University March 2.

Born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Zimmer studied at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, and at the New England Conservatory of Music, from which he has a bachelor’s degree. At the conservatory, he apprenticed with master musicians including Danilo Perez, Cecil McBee, George Garzone, Bob Moses, Jerry Bergonzi and Bob Brookmeyer.

Zimmer moved to New York City in 2001, where he has established himself as one of the top-call young drummers in that city’s jazz scene.

Since then, Zimmer has performed and recorded with jazz legends and masters, as well as rising jazz stars – among them are Garzone, Joel Frahm, Jeremy Pelt, Peter Bernstein, Michael Rodriguez, Jerry Weldon, Dennis Irwin, David Wong, Champian Fulton, Akiko Tsuruga, Rick Germanson, Anthony Wonsey, Randy Napoleon, Michael Karn, Julius Tolentino, Gene Perla, Tom Kennedy, Wayne Escoffery, Jaleel Shaw, Dan Nimmer and others.

In 2004, Zimmer launched his record label, Tippin’ Records, and released his first album as a bandleader, Common Man. He has produced and released four additional CDs, both studio and live recordings that feature many of his compositions.

Zimmer’s most recent album, Prime of Life, came out in 2012 and features Garzone on tenor saxophone, Bernstein on guitar and Peter Slavov on bass.

An All Music Guide review of Chillin’ Live @ Jazz Factory said, “Pete Zimmer’s fourth recording as a bandleader and composer might stake his claim as a modern-day version of Art Blakey.”

Since 2005, Zimmer has played in many of New York’s famous venues and has toured much of the United States and the United Kingdom. He is a highly regarded educator who has presented clinics for many collegiate jazz study programs. He has been on faculty at the New York Jazz Academy since 2009.

Joel Linscheid, interim director of jazz studies at Bethel College, met Zimmer several years ago when Linscheid was a graduate student at the University of Colorado-Boulder and Zimmer did a clinic and concert there. Zimmer has been to Bethel once before.

“Pete, Ben and Andrew are all fantastic jazz musicians,” Linscheid said. “I’m excited to have them at Bethel to perform and work with our students. Jazz fans will not want to miss this concert.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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