Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame member Eric Essix has been named artist-in-residence at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Essix, an artist, performer and educator from Birmingham, was awarded the honor in recognition of his work in the arts on behalf of UAB.
Essix works as an artist coordinator at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, and he is also a teaching artist at ArtPlay, the ASC’s home for arts education. In March he joined the UAB Department of Music as an instructor of jazz studies and music technology. Essix splits his time among the ASC, ArtPlay and the Department of Music while continuing his career as a performing and recording artist, as well as co-founder of the Preserve Jazz Festival.
As an artist-in-residence, Essix will continue to represent UAB as an ambassador for the arts in the Greater Birmingham community and beyond, as well as serve as a mentor to young people in the community and at UAB who want to enter into artistic careers.
Essix is a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Earlier this year he released his 20th album, “Evolution,” which musically charts the spiritual growth and healing of Birmingham 50 years after the events that energized the civil rights movement in 1963. His 2012 self-titled release has received critical acclaim and stayed on national jazz radio airplay charts for 23 consecutive weeks.
Essix will begin a three-year series, Jazz Essentials, starting with the famed Marcus Roberts Trio live in concert Thursday, April 10, 2014. The theme for this performance will be Ragtime and Early New Orleans Jazz, part of A Journey through the History of Jazz. Over the next three years, Essix and the ASC will take audiences on a journey from the birth of jazz through today’s most innovative artists with performances and educational activities. Tickets are $38.50. Student tickets are available. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.