WOODY WITT & MIKE WHEELER – SATURDAY, 8/9 @ 3PM
Saxophonist Woody Witt and guitarist Mike Wheeler will be playing selections from the new album Absinthe: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Blue Bamboo). Joe LoCascio, who plays on the album with Witt, will be on hand to emcee and sign copies of the CD.
Dr. Witt is a Professor of Jazz Studies at Houston Community College Town and Country campus and an Affiliate Artist at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Woody also serves as the entertainment director of Houston’s premiere jazz club, Cézanne. His extensive performance experience includes events with the Houston Symphony, The Temptations, Randy Brecker and Ray Charles, to name just a few.
Mike Wheeler was born in Houston Texas in 1961 and grew up listening to the western swing music that his grandfather played on guitar. He formed various pop and rock groups in his teens until finding his true path in jazz. He studied in San Antonio with Jackie King before going to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mike later received a Bachelor of Music from the University of St.Thomas, Houston.
Well established in the Houston Music scene: Mike has worked in clubs, formed jazz groups, and played with most of the major orchestras and performance groups in the Houston area including the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with jazz artists such as Clark Terry and Joe Williams. He has also backed up many pop artists such as Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Andy Williams, Larry Gatlin, Jennifer Holiday, and John Denver to name a few. In addition to leading his own jazz group, he has worked on many projects, including some with alto sax great Jimmy Ford, who was one of his major musical mentors. His first CD entitled Indian Summer , which was produced by Willie Nelson, spotlights his guitar style. In addition to performing and recording, he teaches private lessons in the Houston area and is currently instructor of jazz guitar at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Houston.