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UW-Parkside’s Jazz Studies Program has lined up an extraordinary series of jazz concerts for all to enjoy this fall. Among a group of extremely talented musicians is a native son, Gerald Cannon, bass player extraordinaire.  Other heavy cats include Christine Fawsom, Ralph Alessi, and Tomeka Reid. Mark your calendars.

At noon, Friday, Sept. 20, NYC trumpeter and composer Alessi and his quintet, featuring Jon Irabagon (saxophone), Andy Milne (piano), Drew Gress (bass), and Mark Ferber (drums), come to UW-Parkside.  Alessi has recorded nine albums of original compositions which draw on everything from post-bop to neo-classical music. Alessi is an assistant professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Nevada-Reno as well as the director of the School for Improvisational Music. Read more at Friday noon concerts are free and open to the public.

The following week, Friday, Sept. 27, at noon the Christine Fawson Quartet will be playing in Bedford Concert Hall. Vocalist and trumpeter Fawson was a member of the brass faculty at Berklee College of Music from 2003 to 2017 and was also a finalist in the 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Jazz Competition. She relocated to New Mexico, where she has performed for the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, Santa Fe Music Collective, and more. Read more at

Jazz bassist Cannon will perform an evening concert Friday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. Born in Racine, Cannon studied jazz bass, classical bass, and piano at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, and also studied art at Marquette University. He carries the knowledge passed onto him by legendary bassists such as Ray Brown, Sam Jones, Ron Carter and Buster Williams and continues the legacy by conducting master classes throughout the U.S. and Europe.  In addition to the concert, Cannon will host a special masterclass in the Bedford Concert Hall at 2 p.m. These two events are sponsored by the Southeast Wisconsin Hearing Center and are free and open to the public. Read more at

Reid, a cellist, composer and educator will be at UW-Parkside Friday, Oct. 30. Recently described as a “New Jazz Power Source” by the New York Times, Reid emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community over the last decade. Now based in New York, her distinctive melodic sensibility, usually braided to a strong sense of groove, has been featured in many distinguished ensembles over the years. Come see Tomeka Reid Quartet perform at 7 p.m. No tickets are required for this free performance. Read more at

To see more upcoming music performances at UW-Parkside, visit the Rita webpage: All performances are held in Bedford Concert Hall.