Jazz Ensemble Concert Comes to Smith

Destiney Dingess, Student Reporter

Jazz lovers can expect to hear swing, funk, Latin and many other shades of styles during the MU Jazz Ensemble I concert. The premier large jazz ensemble will perform in the MU Jazz Studies Program tonight, Nov. 30, at the Smith Music Hall in the recital room at 7:30 p.m. 

The MU Jazz Studies Program students are performing their second of two on-campus concerts the band performs each semester.  

The performance will bring music from important compositions and arrangements from such luminaries like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones and Horace Silver. 

“We will present many iconic pieces from these jazz masters,” Jeff Wolfe, director of jazz studies, said. “There are also many contemporary composers/arrangers of large jazz ensemble literature that, in order to offer a comprehensive musical education to students, must also be explored. Since we recently presented the School of Music’s Holiday Celebration, we wanted to play some tunes of the season that we performed at that event in case folks were unable to attend that show; they can experience them at this concert.” 

The performance will feature special guest Dr. Alexander Lee, assistant professor of voice on one tune, which is a collaborative effort between the voice and jazz studies areas in the school of music.    

“This music – jazz – is America’s only native art form. If you’ve never experienced it, you owe yourself  that opportunity. The music is quite accessible and has a feeling, energy spirit and connection that can only truly be felt in a live setting,” Wolfe said.   

Admission is free and open to all students and locals. The next event where the MU Jazz Ensemble I will be in action is the 54th Marshall University Winter Jazz Festival on Thursday, Feb. 16 through 18, featuring guest artist Dr. Joseph Jefferson, a Joan C. Edwards Distinguished Professor in the Arts.