Jazz drummer Jeff Hamilton to perform to perform at CLC


Jeff Hamilton in combination with CLC Jazz Ensemble perform concert at JLC

Jeff Hamilton, prolific jazz drummer who has worked with the greatest names in jazz, will play alongside the Monday Night Jazz Ensemble at the College of Lake County’s James Lumber Center on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 4 P.M.

Preceding the concert, Hamilton will host a free clinic and masterclass on Nov. 18 from noon to 1:30 P.M. at the JLC.

The class will be open to both CLC students and community members, musicians and non-musicians alike.

Monday Night Jazz Ensemble director Dr. Michael Flack explained that, at the masterclass, Hamilton will teach some of his drumming techniques, talk about his career in the music business, and give students tips on how to succeed and market themselves in the music industry.  

“He’s really the best at what he does,” Flack said. “He’s also an experienced teacher.”

The Guest Artist Concerts have brought world-renowned musicians to CLC since 1977.

The 41st Annual Guest Concert will feature Hamilton whom Flack called “the preeminent jazz drummer in the United States and, really, even the world.”

He explained the process of getting Hamilton to perform at CLC.

“We [CLC] have a good reputation in the music circles,” Flack said. “With Jeff, I know people that he knows. I’ve played with people that he’s played with.”

Flack explained how the Monday Jazz Ensemble, as well as the Tuesday Night Jazz Ensemble who will open the concert, might benefit from this experience.

“They’re not used to performing with someone who is on that level,” Flack said. “Someone that’s professional and experienced. He’s got that combination I’m looking for as far as teaching and performing.”

Hamilton and the Monday Night Jazz Ensemble are set to perform the following program: “Magic Flea,” composed by Sammy Nestico, “Max,” composed by Hamilton and arranged by John Clayton, “Back Home Again in Indiana,” composed by James F. Hanley and arranged John Clayton, “The Serpent’s Tooth,” composed by Miles Davis and arranged by Thomas Matta, “Samba de Martelo” composed by Hamilton and arranged by Joe Clark, and “Latin Import,” composed by John Fedchock.

Hamilton is regularly described as a musician who brings “originality” to the groups he performs with. He regularly records and performs around the world, as well as teaches, arranges, and has composed music.

Hamilton, who began playing drums at the age of eight, studied with American jazz drummer John Von Ohlen, who is widely known for being the drummer for Woody Herman and Stan Kenton, after graduating from Indiana University.

He got his first big break playing with the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1974, and, in 1977, he accomplished a childhood goal by joining Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd with whom he had several recordings.

Since then, Hamilton has played with many distinguished jazz musicians including Ella Fitzgerald, the Count Basie Orchestra, and Monty Alexander.

His drumming has been featured on nearly 200 recordings with artists like Natalie Cole, Milt Jackson, and Barbra Streisand.

Hamilton currently tours with his trio, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and Diana Krall.   

For those who’d like to witness the masterful drumming of Hamilton alongside CLC Jazz Ensembles, tickets are available on the JLC website. Tickets are priced $8 for regular admission, and $7 for CLC students, staff, and seniors.

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