(Posted October 6, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Paul Winter, a native of Altoona, Pa. and a Grammy Award-winning musician, returns to Juniata College, 40 years after playing the inaugural concert in the Juniata Artist Series, to perform Saturday, Oct. 11, at 8:15 p.m. in Rosenberger Auditorium in Oller Hall as part of a benefit concert to raise funds for the construction of the Marlene and Barry Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

?Juniata College was one of the first places my sextet played after we returned from a State Department tour in 1963,? Winter said in a telephone interview. ?It will be great to help the college raise its cultural profile.?

For those who would like to contribute to the arts center project, there will be a benefit dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday in Baker Refectory in Ellis College Center, followed by student performers providing entertainment on the Oller Hall lawn at 7:30 p.m. After the 8:15 concert, there will be a dessert reception where visitors can meet Paul Winter and members of the Consort in the lobby of the von Liebig Center for Science.

Patrons can contribute $1,500 to sponsor a table for eight, or contribute $150 for an individual. Patrons can attend the concert and dessert reception by contributing $75, or attend just the concert for a $50 contribution.

The Marlene and Barry Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts is a $5.5 million project that will renovate Rosenberger Auditorium and Oller Hall as performance spaces while adding a new entrance foyer and state-of-the-art theater space

For tickets to the concert and accompanying events, please call (814) 641-3605.

Winter started his musical career early, around age 5, playing drums, piano and clarinet before settling on the saxophone in 4th grade. He played in several local groups in Altoona, most notably leading a nine-piece dance band called the Silver Liners.

Winter continued his interest in music through college, forming the Paul Winter Sextet while a student at Northwestern University. In 1961, the group won the Intercollegiate Jazz Festival and was signed to a contract with Columbia Records. As part of the award, the sextet embarked on a U.S. State Department tour of 23 Latin American countries. That tour left indelible impressions on Winter, as he assimilated Latin American and particularly Brazilian music into the band?s repertoire. The Sextet was one of the first jazz ensembles to incorporate the Brazilian ?bossa nova? sound into its music. In 1963, at the height of the bossa nova craze, Winter?s group became the first jazz group to officially perform at the White House.

Winter?s love of Brazilian culture led the musician to form the Paul Winter Consort in 1967. In addition to the music of Brazil, Winter was inspired by the environmental richness of the world he had seen beyond the United States. In subsequent albums, Winter and his consort of musicians recorded with humpback whales and wolves.

He has won four Grammy Awards and recorded a variety of albums both with the Consort, as a solo artist and with other artist. A short list of his solo recordings include ?Canyon? (1985), ?Earthbeat? (1987), ?Earth: Voices of a Planet? (1990), and Canyon Lullaby? (1997) His recordings with the Consort include ?Icarus? (1972), ?Spanish Angel? (1993) and ?Concert for the Earth? (1985).

In addition he has recorded ?Celtic Solstice? (1999), ?Journey With the Sun? (2000) and ?Whales Alive!? (1987). The Consort?s latest album is ?Solstice Gems.?

The current incarnation of the Paul Winter Consort includes soprano saxophonist Winter, Eugene Friesen, cello; Paul Sullivan, keyboards; Jamey Haddad, percussion; and Eliot Wadopian, bass. At this concert, Winter also will showcase gospel singer Teresa Thomason, who frequently performs with the Consort and has performed at Juniata College twice before with Winter?s group

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.