By DAVID JACKSON
for Inland 360
Musician Amy Shook estimates she and her husband, Pat, get to play music together around twice a month or so. They intend for their collaboration this month to be memorable.
The Shooks, both University of Idaho graduates, are featured artists Friday at the 2020 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival evening concert. The night also features the Vertical Voices band and the UI Jazz Choir 1 and Jazz Band 1. Saturday night’s concert stars Joshua Redman and the Still Dreaming Quartet and the Lionel Hampton Big Band featuring Jason Marsalis.
Jazz Festival Director Josh Skinner and Artistic Director Vern Sielert worked several years to lure the Shooks to Moscow for the festival. The couple, who live in Annapolis, Md., are both sought-after professional musicians and have their own group, the Shook Russo Quartet.
Pat Shook, who graduated from UI in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in music performance, plays saxophone for the Jazz Ambassadors, which is part of the U.S. Army Field band. He has been a member of the band since 2003.
“We take the story of the American soldier and represent it through music to the American public,” he said.
Amy Shook has two degrees from UI, receiving her bachelor’s in violin performance and music composition in 1996 and her master’s in music performance in 2000. Musically, she has several irons in the fire — playing acoustic bass, violin, viola and cello. She plays with a number of groups, including the Diva Jazz Orchestra in New York, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and the 3D Jazz Trio. In addition, she performs freelance and studio work, including writing and recording string compositions for other artists.
The couple married in 1998 after reconnecting in 1997 while playing together in the Spokane Jazz Orchestra. Although they played music together as undergraduates at UI, they never dated.
“We were just classmates,” said Amy.
“We were focused on our studies,” added Pat, laughing.
Having grown up in the region — Pat in Spokane and Amy in Boise — they have years of experience with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and began attending the event in junior high and high school.
They’re looking forward to being the featured artists and playing together at this year’s festival.
“To have us come back and be featured with our former ensembles and hopefully represent the School of Music in a good light … that’s our goal,” said Amy.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: 53rd Annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, Feb. 29.
WHERE: ASUI Kibbie Dome, Moscow.
COST: $15 to $45. Tickets are available at the UI ticket office at the Kibbie Dome or online at uidaho.edu/class/jazzfest.
OF NOTE: Free workshops on campus will take place today through Saturday and will cover a range of topics on performance, jazz history, dance, music business and career exploration. Two new workshops will feature former Grammy Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli and social media influencer Jason Heath. Workshops will be updated daily online at www.uidaho.edu/class/jazzfest/ or on the UIdaho Mobile app.