Brown Bag Concert SeriesHailey Niswanger Quartet
Hailey Niswanger (pronounced "NICE-wonger"), currently studying jazz performance on a full scholarship at Berklee, has an impressive list of accomplishments that reach far beyond the borders of her home in Portland, Oregon and well beyond her years. Born February 12, 1990, in Houston, Niswanger has shared the stage with Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Duke, George Garzone, Red Holloway, Terell Stafford, Phil Woods, James Moody, Steve Nelson, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Maceo Parker, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Whitfield, and other jazz greats and leads her own quartet that has performed at the 2011 Red Clay Jazz Festival, 2010 Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Portland Jazz Festival, Jimmy Mak's Jazz Club, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, and other jazz venues around Portland. As one of 14 students selected to be part of the inaugural class of Berklee's elite new Global Jazz Institute under the artistic direction of Danilo Perez, she has performed at the 2010 and 2011 Panama Jazz Festival, 2010 Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals, and the Blue Note in New York. In the fall of 2009 Niswanger was named the alto saxophonist (a chair once held by Miguel Zenon, Jaleel Shaw, and others) in the Either/Orchestra, an internationally renowned ensemble that performs jazz, Latin, and Ethiopian music, and so far she has performed with them at the Teatro Manzoni in Milan, Italy, the 2010 Chicago Jazz Festival, Ethiopia, and at various venues around New England.
Hailey hit the road running in May 2009 after completing her first year at Berklee, when she was a featured artist at the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., whose saxophone competition she won in 2008 (her concert was featured on NPR's JazzSet With Dee Dee Bridgewater originally broadcast in October 2009). She has represented Berklee in 2010 at the International Beaches Jazz Festival in Toronto and the Freihofer's Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs and in 2009 at the DownBeat Invitational at the Tri-C Jazz Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. She has toured with Berklee's Next Generation Jazz Orchestra that performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands and on the main stage of the 51st Monterey Jazz Festival (2008); played with the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensemble in Hollywood and the Jazz Band of America in Indianapolis (2008 & 2007); performed with the Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra and Combo at the IAJE conference in New York and at pre-festival events for the 50th Anniversary Monterey Jazz Festival; and attended the Vail Jazz Workshop led by John and Jeff Clayton, performing on the main stage of the Vail Jazz Festival with Taylor Eigsti who later invited her to appear with him at the Jazz Alley in Seattle (2007). In 2006 and 2007 Niswanger received scholarships to attend Berklee's Summer Jazz Workshop directed by Terri Lyne Carrington.
Brown Bag Concerts are produced by Mechanics Hall and WICN public radio in partnership with Bank of America. Admission is free. Every concert begins at noon and is one hour long. Table seating is the norm, but occasionally seating is theater style. Bring your own lunch or purchase one at the Hall, prepared by Eric's LaPatisserie Café. Performances are subject to change without notice and are broadcast live whenever possible on WICN 90.5 FM and around the world on wicn.org.