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Drumming up memories

Jazz percussionist Gary Hobbs talks about his career

The University of North Texas has put together a roster of award-winning musicians for the College of Music’s Jazz Lecture Series.

At 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday, renowned jazz drummer Gary Hobbs will discuss his work as a jazz percussionist.

Hobbs joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra straight out of college. He’s gigged for 38 years, and also plays the cajon set, getting organic Latin beats using wooden boxes and goat hooves.

Started as a way to bring musicians from New York to UNT, the Jazz Lecture Series is designed to bring a broader point of view to jazz students’ education. Now in its 31st year, the series is open to jazz fans and anyone in the public who is interested in learning alongside the students. The series introduces jazz musicians, vocalists, composers and critics to students in an intimate classroom setting.

Neil Slater, then-director of the UNT One O’clock Lab Band, started the series in 1982. Slater said that he couldn’t take the students to New York, but he could bring New York to the students. Famous trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie was among the guests that first semester. There have been other high-profile and dedicated musicians since then.

Students and visitors can attend Jazz Lecture Series sessions from 9:30 to 10:50 a.m. and from 2 to 3:20 p.m. Tuesdays — except for Feb. 26, when there will be only an afternoon session. The lectures are in Room 293 of the UNT Music Building, at Avenue C and Chestnut Street.

Seating is limited. Those planning to bring large groups should check with the Division of Jazz Studies in advance by calling 940-565-3743.

— Lucinda Breeding