This year, the Utah Arts Festival will honor Salt Lake City native Neil Weight with the Jazz Master Award.
Here are excerpts from a bio provided by UAF:
Born in Salt Lake City in 1935, Neil Weight played his first professional gigs on trumpet at 13 years old. He established himself as a top call trumpet player working with Nat King Cole, Bob Hope, Johnny Mathis and even Johnny Cash. He performed with the National Guard Army Band for 26 years and became staff arranger for the concert and jazz bands of the 23rd Army Band, which still performs his music today.
Weight earned a BA and MA in music from the University of Utah. As an educator and counselor, he was the band director at Granite High School in 1963 and started a jazz band for high school students. He served a counselor at Skyline High school until his retirement in 1995.
Weight remains active as a jazz arranger and creates new charts for the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra. His arrangements are featured regularly at the Salt Lake International Jazz Festival, and a new arrangement of Body and Soul will feature Jerry Floor on clarinet with the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra.
Neil Weight will accept his award, then conduct premiere performances of the arrangements he created with the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra during the Utah Arts Festival on Fri, June 22, 8:30pm, Festival Stage.
His new arrangement of “Body and Soul,” a classic jazz standard, will feature bandleader Jerry Floor on clarinet.
The 2012 Utah Arts Festival runs Thursday, June 21 through Sunday, June 24 from noon to 11 p.m. on Library Square, 400 South and 200 East in downtown Salt Lake City.
Adult admission is $10 at the gate, $7 in advance. Children 12 and under are free. Seniors 65 and above are $5. Reduced adult admission is $5 and available from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.