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April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and the Jazz Program at Missouri Western State University is doing its part to promote this great American Art Form by hosting its Spring Jazz Concert Thursday, April 18. The concert will feature performances by the Jazz Lab Band and Jazz Ensemble. The concert will showcase classic jazz literature as well as new contemporary literature by today’s leading writers.
The Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of Mr. Jeff Hinton, will showcase original literature for big band, such as Andrew Neu’s Zebrano, and also classic big band charts, such as Frank Foster’s Shiny Stockings. A highlight of the Jazz Lab’s presentation will be the opportunity to perform with well-known St. Joseph area musician and MWSU alum Mark Elting on drum set.

The Jazz Ensemble, directed by Bob Long, will feature a wide variety of literature, ranging from classics from the libraries of Frank Foster, Duke Ellington and Oliver Nelson, to newer contemporary literature by composers/arrangers such as Steve Allee and Paul McKee. Soloists to be featured with the Jazz Ensemble are senior music major Graham Leavell, alto sax, and junior music major Rayvon Haggerty.

Earlier this semester the Jazz Ensemble had the wonderful opportunity to work and perform with internationally acclaimed drummer, Steve Houghton. Mr. Houghton was to be the guest artist for the 2019 MWSU Jazz Festival, but due to weather, was canceled at the last moment. MWSU music students, though, still had the opportunity to perform with Mr. Houghton on a recital for the music department. The Ensemble will be performing a chart arranged for him, entitled Cariba.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. in the Potter Theater. We invite you to come share an evening of great jazz with the Missouri Western Jazz Program. For more information please call the MWSU Music Office (271-4420) or you may call Bob Long, Director of Jazz Studies (271-4420).