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KASU to present Ozark Jazz Orchestra concert to kick off spring membership drive March 27

March 10, 2009 -- Arkansas State University-Jonesboro’s public radio station, KASU FM 91.9, presents the Ozark Jazz Orchestra, featuring vocalist Lisa Ahia, pianist Joy Sanford, trumpeter Gary Gazaway, and violinist Tim Crouch in concert at the WalnutThe Ozark Jazz Orchestra (from left) includes pianist Joy Sanford,vocalist Lisa Ahia, and trumpeter Gary Gazaway; violinist Tim Crouch is pictured separately. Ridge Community Center Auditorium Friday, March 27, at 7 p.m. Tickets for the concert are available at the door for $10. The Walnut Ridge Community Center is adjacent to Walnut Ridge High School, 504 Southern Avenue.

This event will officially kick off KASU's 2009 Spring Membership Drive which begins on Saturday, March 28. The orchestra was formed in 2006 and includes professional musicians residing in the northeast Arkansas area who share an interest in the history, preservation and performance of America's music heritage of blues, folk, jazz, and popular song.

These musicians play Great American Songbook standards and arrange the music with masterful improvisational skills.

Native Hawaiian Lisa Ahia began performing in shows with her father, Samuel Ahia, one of Hawaii's premier jazz guitarists and Polynesian entertainers, when she was eight years old. Since that time, she has been performing traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian music, as well as American jazz standards, for audiences from Honolulu to Nashville.

Ahia is an accomplished performer on the ukulele, a small Hawaiian guitar, and has been featured as a musician, vocalist, and master of ceremonies for major Polynesian shows in Hawaii. Lisa also has a deep, heart-felt love for American jazz standards, and her vocal style is a true original. Her lush velvet voice delivers a unique artistic quality to every song she sings, and with depth and emotion, she sings the melody and lyrics with her own special interpretation and phrasing.

Some of Lisa's favorite vocal influences are Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McCrae, Shirley Horn, Dinah Washington, Johnny Hartman, Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, and Frank Sinatra. She has recorded or performed with artists including Victor Wooten, Hugo Fattoruso, Toninho Horta, Charles Thomas, Buck Powell, Erich Avinger, and others.

Joy Sanford is originally from Hardy, Ark., and graduated from Arkansas State with a degree in music education. She recently retired after 30 years as a music instructor in the Arkansas public school system. Sanford was a child prodigy pianist and was a premier student of piano virtuoso Myron Myers, a legendary professor at ASU.

She lives in Jonesboro and is a classically trained concert pianist and accompanist, and performs mainly with the advanced music students at recitals and concert
s at ASU. She has also studied jazz piano and has worked with many important jazz musicians during her music career. She has also participated in the renowned Jamey Abersol jazz clinics in Louisville, Ky.

Critics have marveled about her special touch on the keyboard and her mastery of the instrument, as well as her ability to accompany vocalists and musicians of any genre in any setting. Sanford lives in Jonesboro and performs at public and private events locally and in Memphis and Little Rock.

Internationally known trumpeter Gary Gazaway is from Pocahontas, Ark. He has worked extensively in New York, Miami, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Nashville and Hawaii. He has performed or recorded with a long list of diverse Latin and American artists including Israel "Cachou" Lopez, Machito, Celia Cruz, Flora Purim and Airto Moriera, Hugo Fattoruso and OPA, Toninho Horta, Wagner Tiso, Jaco Pastorius, Herb Alpert, Jon Hendricks, Ornette Coleman, Robert Palmer, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Cocker, the Memphis Horns, Steve Winwood,
the Commitments, George Jones, Delbert McClinton, Phish, Derek Trucks, and Sound Tribe Sector 9.

He has recorded on more than 20 major label recordings, five of which are multi-platinum. His music has been described as instrumental jazz/blues/Latin/rock, and is a remarkable blend of many different styles and influences that create a unique instrumental sound.  As "El Buho," a nickname bestowed to him by musicians in South America and translated as the Owl, he tours and performs worldwide.

Violinist and mandolin and guitar virtuoso Tim Crouch is from Strawberry, A
Violinist Tim Crouch is also a virtuoso guitar and mandolin player.rk. He has been influenced by the bluegrass sounds of Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs, the western swing of Bob Wills, the country sounds of Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb, and the jazz of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. He has performed and or recorded with many major artists including George Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Andy Williams, Marty Stuart, the Oak Ridge boys, Charley Pride, Dierks Bentley, Jerry Reed, Mare Winningham, Mike Snider, the Grand Ole Opry Staff Band, Jonathon Edwards, and numerous others.

Crouch has performed on the David Letterman Show, the Conan O’Brien Show, CBS Early Morning, the Grand Ole Opry Live, Austin City Limits, Hee Haw, Academy Of Country Music Awards, History of the Grand Ole Opry, Christian Country Music Awards Show, Classic Country Inspirational Music Awards, and others. Tim recently produced Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award nominee Mare Winningham's new album "Refuge, Rock, Sublime," and he performs with her in concert nationally.

For concert information, or to make a pledge to support "Unique and Enriching Public Radio" in northeast Arkansas, call KASU at (870) 972-2200, (800) 643-8269, or email them at Visit the Web site   



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