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ASU Jazz Ensembles present final concert of 2009-10 season April 19

April 14, 2010 -- The Department of Music at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will present the ASU Jazz Band in its final concert of the 2009-2010  season, along with a few numbers from the new Vocal Jazz Ensemble on Monday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center. Jazz is a musical style that has the ability to react to and absorb other musical traditions, and in their performance, the Arkansas State University Jazz Ensembles will present a program entitled “Something Borrowed, Something Blue.”  Throughout the program, audiences will be treated to musical examples which display how jazz has borrowed from a wide range of styles and ensembles throughout its history. The ASU Jazz Bands are under the direction of Dr. Ron Horton.  The concert is free of charge and open to the public. 

To begin the evening, audiences of the concert will be treated to a performance by the Arkansas State University Mixed Vocal Jazz Ensemble. This eight-person auditioned group will perform the well-known swing standard "Fly Me to the Moon" as well as "But Beautiful" featuring various soloists with lush ensemble chords. They will also "create" a vocal improvisation song and explore asymmetrical meter within the jazz idiom in "Mo-Dot." The Vocal Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of new voice and music education faculty member Kyle Chandler. The singers are Kari Rickman and Christopher Orr of Jonesboro, Renee L. Smith of Houston, Texas, Jessica Baldwin, Jeremy Carter, and Jay Shepherd, all of Paragould, Susan Hulett of Mountain Home, and Kate Smith of Wynne.

The University’s Jazz Band will play pieces ranging from “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” which shows jazz music’s absorption of the conventions of early dance band instrumentation, to Chic Corea’s “500 Miles High,” which exemplifies the musical intersection of jazz and more poplar styles of 1970s.  The concert will also feature the ASU Jazztet, an ensemble that includes some of the music department’s finest improvisers in a small group setting. One of the pieces that will be featured in the concert is written by Jazztet member Joseph Curtis. The piece will be premiered and is so new that at the time this article was written it did not even have a name. “To me, this piece shows the absorption of the music of India into jazz” says Horton. “That is a trend that started when John Coltrane began to adopt the concepts of melody and harmony that are used in some classical Indian styles and has spread to the use of metric meters that were not a part of early jazz and western music, but are much more commonly used today.” 

The Jazztet will also perform “Unit Seven,” and “Weaver of Dreams,” two pieces that will reflect the use of Latin rhythmic styles in jazz, and the Cole Porter standard “What is This Thing Called Love?” which will show the current trend of many young jazz musicians who use R&B and Hip Hop influenced rhythms. “I think this will be an exciting performance that audience will love,” says Horton.

Members of the ASU Jazz Band include Clinton Curtis of Trumann, and Bobby Coyle of Piggott, alto saxophones; Allen Adcock of Bono and Shawn Crawford of Paragould, tenor saxophones; Joshua Carter of Jonesboro, baritone saxophone; Zach Bailey and Treaver Mitchell both of Jonesboro, and Devondre Hince of Jacksonville, trombones; Antonio Starks of Jonesboro, Tim Moore of Dexter, Mo., Ethan Pugh of Pocahontas, and Nathan Tucker of Jonesboro, trumpets; Aaron Fisher of Southaven, Miss., piano; Kevin Cremeens of Jonesboro, bass; Lance Patterson of Jonesboro, guitar; Curtis Farley and Addison Boling, both of Jonesboro, drums.

Members of the ASU Jazztette include Joseph Curtis of Trumann, trumpet; Michael Newson of Memphis, Tenn, saxophone; Evan Barwick of Poplar Bluff, Mo., bass; Mauricio Dixon of Wynne, piano; Jay Shepherd of Paragould, guitar; Bryan Elder of Jonesboro and Jason DeBerry of Dexter, Mo., drums.

For more information about the concert or ASU music, please feel free to contact the music office at (870) 972-2094.  

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