The Matt Wilson Quartet Headlines 2014 Maplerock Jazz Festival

The Matt Wilson Quartet Headlines 2014 Maplerock Jazz Festival

3/17/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s award-winning Jazz program is once again hosting the 2014 Maplerock Jazz Festival slated for Friday, March 21. Along with free performances by area high school jazz ensembles in the afternoon, the event presents a main stage concert at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre featuring the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock, and the Matt Wilson Quartet as guest artist. 

The afternoon performances are free and open to the public while tickets for the evening concert are available through the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125, 12 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online (additional fees apply) at

Comprised of New York based drummer and Grammy nominee Matt Wilson; bassist Chris Lightcap; Jeff Lederer on tenor saxophone and clarinet; and Kirk Knuffke on cornet, the Matt Wilson Cornet was formed in 1996. As the quartet’s founder, Wilson is one of today’s most celebrated jazz artists. He is universally recognized by his musical and melodic drumming style and he also is a gifted composer, bandleader, producer and teaching artist. His positive energy, sense of humor and ability to explore a broad range of musical settings keeps him in constant demand. In addition, Wilson’s dedication to jazz has helped establish him as a beloved world ambassador for the music, on and off the bandstand.

Wilson has performed with many music legends including Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello and Wynton Marsalis, and he has appeared on 250 CDs as a sideman and has released nine as a leader for Palmetto Records as well as co-leading five additional releases. Wilson performed at the White House as part of an all-star jazz group for a State Dinner concert hosted by President Obama. He was named the artist in residence at the Litchfield Jazz Festival, where he conducted a much-heralded public interview with Dave Brubeck. In 2010, Wilson conducted over 250 outreach programs promoting jazz including an acclaimed Jazz for Young Peoples concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

In November 2009, Wilson was featured on the covers of both Downbeat and JazzTimes magazines and was voted No. 1 Rising Star Drummer in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for five consecutive years. The readers of JazzTimes recently chose him as one of the top four drummers in the 2010 Readers Poll. In 2003, he was voted Drummer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

The Jazz Festival's afternoon performances in Hugo Young Theatre begin at 1 p.m. with Ashland Middle School followed at 1:30 p.m. with Wellington High School, Ashland High School Jazz Band B at 2 p.m., Rittman High School at 2:30 p.m., Ashland High School’s Jazz Band A at 3 p.m. and Orrville High School at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets for the evening concert are $10 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students and Ashland University faculty and staff; and free for Ashland University students. 

For more information about the Maplerock Jazz Festival or the Ashland University Jazz program, visit or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###