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K-State Today

November 1, 2017



Internationally acclaimed jazz percussionist to present clinics

By Kurt Gartner

Bill Molenhof, jazz vibraphonist and drummer, will present clinics and master classes to percussion and jazz students on Thursday, Nov. 2. His jazz drum set clinic, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in 201 McCain Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Molenhof began his professional career touring the Pacific Northwest and Alaska with guitarist Wayne Johnson, drummer Danny Gottlieb and singer Oleta Adams in 1974. At 21 years of age, he was invited by Gary Burton to teach at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. During that time, Molenhof performed with pianist James Williams and guitarist Pat Metheny and recorded/composed his first collection of solo pieces for the vibraphone, "Music of the Day," published by Kendor Music. This collection has been reprinted 10 times and is the most successful of its kind in the world.

In 1976, Molenhof moved to New York City to work as featured soloist/composer with the Downbeat Poll and Grammy-award winning singers Jackie Cain and Roy Kral. While with Jackie and Roy, he gained valuable exposure performing throughout North America on network radio and television broadcasts — such as NBC, CBS and NPR — at jazz festivals and jazz clubs. Molenhof also joined in collaborations with cornetist Ruby Braff, bassist/singer Jay Leonhart, cellists David Darling and Hank Roberts, saxophonists Tim Berne and Zbigniew Namyslowski, and drummers Alan Dawson and Keith Copeland.

In 1983, Molenhof made his European debut at the Tuebingen Germany International Festival with drummer Ed Thigpen. Since then, he has had featured appearances in Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Holland, England, Norway, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, Russia, Brazil, Uruguay and Australia. His international reputation is secured by regional and national radio and TV broadcasts in all of the above countries.

Molenhof's recordings and publications receive frequent airplay and public performance throughout the world and are administrated by Mark, Cexton, MTS, Warner Bros., Kendor Music, Really Good Music LLC and Otto Wrede-Regina companies.

In addition to his early work at Berklee, Molenhof has given countless workshops and clinics, and has been a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music, Ithaca College, Temple University and at present is at the Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg, Germany.

The creative impact and technical artistry of Molenhof is well documented and substantiated throughout the percussion-performance world. His solid contributions to vibraphone, marimba and mallet synthesizer are significant advances in their progress, development and evolution.