Yellowjackets to buzz on jazz evolution



Special to the Parade

The Yellowjackets will pack three decades of jazz evolution into one performance Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. when this acclaimed group brings its distinctive brand of electro-acoustic funk and fusion to the Arts Center.

One of the longest-tenured groups in jazz history, they arrive in Brownsville as part of their 30th anniversary tour, and on the wings of their latest album, appropriately named “Timeline.”

Arts Center Director Dr. Dan Barnard said the group is the perfect fit for Rio Grande Valley audiences: Sophisticated, yet accessible enough for even novice jazz enthusiasts.

“The Yellowjackets are one of the most influential groups in American jazz in the last half century,” said Barnard. “And yet when you hear them they are so listenable… They are an excellent fit for our insistence on world-class artists.”

The group features keyboardist Russell Ferrante, saxophonist Bob Mintzer, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer William Kennedy – back at work with the group after a 10-year hiatus.

The Yellowjackets originally came together to play with Robben Ford’s 1978 album “Inside Story.” Their first recording, Yellowjackets, was released in 1981, and Ford brings the music full circle with a guest appearance on “Timeline.”

Dynamic as well as durable, the Yellowjackets have collected 17 Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards over their three decades.

The Signature Series is celebrating its second season at the Arts Center, the university’s state-of-the-art new performance hall. After a successful inaugural run, this year’s Signature Series promises both diversity and the same dedication to excellence that patrons have come to expect.

“This season has something for everyone including dance, world music, jazz, family entertainment, and the best Mariachi group in the world,” said Barnard.

For more information, visit or call (956) 882-8587.

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