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By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

Though not a student, Erskine calls performance ‘homecoming’

Peter Erskine, a two-time Grammy winning drummer, will perform with University of North Texas College of Music faculty and the One O’clock Lab Band tonight.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. in Winspear Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center.

Erskine said individuals attending tonight’s performance can expect “a little bit of everything” including big band pieces and some surprises.

“We’ll be kind of paying honor, homage to the past while trying to forecast some of the future,” Erskine said.

The concert is being streamed live via

As of Wednesday, seats were available, but selling briskly.

A drummer since age 4, Erskine has appeared on more than 600 albums and film scores throughout his career. He also produces jazz recordings under his record label, Fuzzy Music, and serves as a professor at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.

Most recently, he performed on five tracks that were played during the Academy Awards.

Erskine said returning to UNT is like “coming home.” He said that while he never attended school at the university, in 1961, when jazz studies was in its infancy, a bulk of jazz educators came from UNT. He said he’s played with and learned from some of the current faculty at UNT.

Erskine is in Denton this week as part of the College of Music’s Glenn E. Gomez International Artists Endowment for Jazz Studies residency, which brings internationally known jazz artists to the university. This is his sixth visit to UNT, and Erskine’s first as part of the Gomez residency, according to College of Music officials.

In addition to rehearsing for tonight’s performance this week, Erskine has participated in question-and-answer sessions with jazz students, a small group forum and he’s taught master classes in improvisation and for drummers, undergraduate and graduate composers.

John Murphy, UNT jazz studies chairman, said in Erskine’s time at UNT, he’s offered students feedback on playing and practicing, philosophical comments about playing and stories illustrating what he’s learned playing alongside other jazz musicians throughout his career.

A standing-room audience — many of which sat on stairways inside the Recital Hall at UNT’s Music Building — attended a lecture series featuring Erskine Tuesday, where he talked about his experiences as a jazz musician and playing with groups like the Maynard Ferguson Big Band and Weather Report.

“I would say that it’s a terrific inspiration for our students because he is sharing with them his earliest musical experiences,” Murphy said. “I think this helps our students see their own professional path more clearly.”

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is .


•  What: Peter Erskine in concert with the UNT One O’clock Lab Band

•  When: 8 p.m tonight

•  Where: Winspear Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, on the north side of I-35E at North Texas Boulevard

•  Details: Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for senior citizens, students, children, UNT faculty/staff/retirees and groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets online at  or by calling the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802.

•  On the Web: