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Department of Music presents the second annual ASU Jazz Festival April 26

April 10, 2008 -- The second annual Arkansas State University Jazz Festival will be held on Saturday, April 26, at 6 p.m., Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. 

Jazz bands at all levels are invited to participate in this opportunity to be adjudicated, either competitively or in the non-competitive class, by some of the region’s top jazz performers and educators. For information about the festival, contact Dr. E. Ron Horton, ASU’s director of Jazz Studies, at (870) 972-2799 or e-mail

Those who attended the ASU Jazz Festival last year got the opportunity to perform in Riceland Hall, attend a jazz improvisation clinic held by University of North Texas Professor Michael Steinel, and attend a concert hosted by the Arkansas State University Jazz band.

This year promises to be even better. The featured artist and clinician is saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, composer, arranger, and educator Mike Tomaro. Tomaro is a nationally known artist and is the director of jazz studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn. Tomaro earned his BS degree in music education from Duquesne University and received his MA degree in performance from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. A former member of the Army Blues jazz ensemble, he is also a Yamaha performing artist.

Tomaro has released numerous albums on the Sea Breeze and Positive music labels. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by such jazz greats as Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Ernie Watts, Ed Soph, Bobby Shew, New York Voices, Al Vizzutti, and many more. More than fifty of his compositions and arrangements have been published by Doug Beach Music, Hal Leonard Publications, and Walrus Music.

As a performer, Tomaro has worked with such diverse artists and groups as Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Mathis, Bernadette Peters, Terence Blanchard, the Dizzy Gillespie Tribute Big Band, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. In addition to leading his own band, he has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. The addition of Mike Tomaro to the Arkansas State University Jazz Band promises an exciting concert.

Members of the ASU Jazz Band include Claire Richardson of Jonesboro, Michael Newson of Memphis, Tenn., Daniel Rickman, Allen Adcock, Adam Leslie, Matt Strawbridge, Kade Holliday and Treavor Mitchell, all of Jonesboro, Jon McAlister of Marion, Joseph Curtis of Trumann, Antonio Sparks of Jonesboro, Lara Spain of Wynne, Janet Rooney of Trumann, Mauricio Dixon of Wynne, Kevin Cremeens of Jonesboro, Perry Harper of Paragould, and Jamel Alford of East St. Louis, Ill.

Dr. E. Ron Horton and members of the ASU Jazz Ensemble take a break from performing at the 2008 Diversity Excellence Awards.



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