UW-La Crosse faculty member cuts CD

Three musicians.

Long-time Coulee Region jazz bassist Karyn Quinn teamed up with Kansas City Pianist Wayne Hawkins, left, and Portland Drummer Todd Strait to record “Great Days.”

Karyn Quinn joins Kansas City, Portland musicians to form jazz trio

A decade-long summer jazz workshop led by a UW-La Crosse faculty member and two other university musicians has reached a crescendo of a CD.

Long-time Coulee Region jazz bassist Karyn Quinn teamed up with Kansas City Pianist Wayne Hawkins and Portland Drummer Todd Strait to record “Great Days.”

“We have always felt a great connection when we have played at summer camp during the past 10 years,” says Quinn. “But most of the time we’re backing up horn players. So, after talking about the three of us doing a recording for years, we finally decided to do it after I missed a summer clinic because of a bike accident.”

On a grant from the UW-L College of Liberal Studies and jazz studies program, Hawkins and Strait came to La Crosse in October 2010 to record the CD at Sound Stations’ studio. While here, they also taught lessons to students, gave master classes, and worked with the university’s jazz bands and combos. And, the trio presented lecture recitals to classes.

Quinn says the CD, released in July, will be a hit for fans of jazz trios featuring piano, bass and drums. “The tunes have great improvisation, but nothing too ‘wild’ or ‘far out’ so they are fairly easy to listen to,” she says.

Great Days CD cover artwork.

Great Days is the CD UW-L Music Department Faculty Member Karyn Quinn recorded with Kansas City and Portland jazz musicians. Susan Schuyler, who teaches in the UW-L Communication Studies Department, assisted with the CD cover and packaging.

Quinn says it’s hard to pick a favorite song on the CD, but she likes some of Hawkins’ original compositions, “Grace” and “O Meu Lugar.” “He also did an arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ that I really love to play,” notes Quinn.

CDs are $15 and available locally at the University Bookstore, Leithold’s, SSE Music, Pearl Street Books and Dave’s Guitar. The disc can be ordered online through CDbaby, Amazon and CD University. Listen to portions of tracks — and download them — at iTunes or CDbaby. Downloads are 99-cents a song or $9.90 for the album.

Quinn earned a music education degree from UW-L in 1984. After earning a master’s in bass and jazz studies from the University of Northern Colorado, she returned to campus to teach in 1989.