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Department of Music presents ASU Jazz and Lab Bands in Concert April 20

April 17, 2009 --The Department of Music at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro will present the ASU Jazz and Lab bands in concert on Monday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. The Jazz and Lab bands at Arkansas State University are under the direction of Dr. Ron Horton.

The Lab Band will kick off the evening’s concert. This semester has been one of the best the group has had. “This semester’s Lab band has met every challenge with gusto, they have definitely matured as an ensemble, and they are ready for the performance,” saids Horton. The Lab Band will tackle some great charts from some of the top bands in the history of jazz, including repertoire from the bands of Count Basie, Buddy Rich, and Louie Bellson. They will also perform a wonderful arrangement of Kurt Weill’s “Speak Low” written as a bossa nova. In addition to excellent ensemble performance, the band will also feature a number of excellent soloists. Dr. Horton said, “This semester’s group is very talented, and the musicians are also willing to put in the personal time to develop their skills.”  Audiences will be treated to improvised solos in a variety of styles by Aaron Fischer on piano, tenor saxophonist Shawn Crawford, and trumpeter Zach Adams, just to name a few.

The second half of the concert will feature the ASU Jazz Band.  “Bring good shoes and cough drops,” says Horton “because there are several pieces on this half of the concert that will bring you to your feet and have you yelling for more.” Horton, of course, is referring to the performance of Stan Kenton’s “Malaguena.” This is one of the most famous pieces ever performed by the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Audiences should prepare themselves for some intense and aggressive work from the brass section, as well as a burning solo by one of the group’s top musicians, Michael Newson. The band will also perform a piece from jazz guitarist Pat Metheny called “Song for Bilbao.” This is a high-energy piece arranged by Alan Baylock that also takes advantage of the band’s powerful brass section. The evening’s concert will also feature Matt Strawbridge on a funk ballad (yes, a funk ballad) arranged by Kris Berg of the jazz standard “Spring Can really Hang You Up the Most.”

Members of the Jazz Band are Claire Richardson and Allen Adcock of Jonesboro, alto saxophone; Michael Newson of Memphis, Tenn. and Daidreon Clayton of Jonesboro, tenor saxophone; Daniel Medina of Marion, baritone saxophone; Matt Strawbridge and Kade Holiday of Jonesboro, Jonathon McAlister of Marion, Chris Smith of Paragould, trombones; Antonio Starks of Jonesboro, Joseph Curtis of Trumann, Angela Guajardo and Kyle Stewart of Marion, trumpets; Mauricio Dixon of Wynne, piano; Kevin Cremeens of Jonesboro, bass; and Bryan Elder of Jonesboro, drumset.

Members of the Lab Band are Ashley Flory of Cherokee Village, and Michael Ha of Grapevine, Texas, alto saxophones;  Shawn Crawford of Paragould and Chance George of Searcy, tenor saxophones; Demarius J. Phelix of Marion, baritone saxophone; Jeremey Ramsey of Brinkley, Matt Strawbridge, John Upton, and Kyle Manley of Jonesboro, Luke Edwards of Cabot, trombones; Eric Escue of Jonesboro, Zac Adams of Piggot, Jon Calhoun of Corning of Alex, trumpets; Lacey Tillman of Jonesboro and Aaron Fischer of Southaven, Miss., piano; and Evan Barwick of Poplar Bluff, Mo.



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