Mississippi State University Libraries is pleased to announce Jeff Barnhart as the incoming Artistic Director of the Lib raries' Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival. Barnhart will assume the role of Artistic Director following the retirement of David A. Jasen after the 2013 Festival. Barnhart is currently assisting the Festival Coordinators with selecting performers and discussing plans for the 2014 Festival slated for March 28-29, 2014.
Festival Coordinators plan to continue the Templeton Festival, building on the success, excellent relationship, and foundation built by David A. Jasen. According to Frances Coleman, Dean of Libraries, "Jeff was a logical choice for the position. He is a dynamic individual who lights up the room and the stage. He is incredibly talented and will bring great energy and a wealth of ideas to our Festival."
"I am honored to be assuming the role of Artistic Director for Templeton Festival", said Jeff Barnhart. He added, "I look forward to working with the Festival Coordinators to bring new energy and ideas to the event while keeping true to the mission of celebrating America's first indigenous musical styles through performances and educational seminars."
Barnhart is an internationally renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, composer, educator and entertainer. He began his professional career at age 14, playing and entertaining four nights a week in a restaurant in his home state of Connecticut. Here he began to learn the classic swing, jazz and ragtime repertoire of the early 20th century. The 21st century has found Jeff constantly appearing as a soloist and band pianist at parties, festivals, clubs and cruises throughout the world. He currently manages the Titan Hot 7, one of the most acclaimed bands in the country. In addition, he leads two bands in the UK: the Fryer-Barnhart International Jazz Band, which concentrates on hot music of the 1920's, and Jeff Barnhart's British Band, which performs small group swing of the 30's. Due to his versatility, vast repertoire and vibrant energy, Jeff is in increasing demand as a participant in international jazz events as either a soloist or as pianist in All-Star Jazz ensembles. In addition to his widely acclaimed solo and band appearances, Jeff enjoys great success performing with smaller groups, most notably Ivory&Gold®, a group he co-leads with his talented wife, flutist Anne Barnhart, which has become a mainstay at many jazz and ragtime festivals throughout the US and the UK.
In addition to his own label, Jazz Alive Records, Jeff plays piano and sings on the international labels GHB, Summit-World Jazz Records, Music Minus One, and the two largest jazz labels in the UK, Lake Records and P.E.K. Sound. Most recently, Jeff has joined the roster of artists featured on the Arbors Records label, with 4 recordings currently available: the most recent featuring jazz legends Bob Wilber and Bucky Pizzarelli. Jeff has recorded as both pianist and vocalist on over 100 full-length albums.
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