Sixth Annual Fall Jazz Showcase set for Riceland Hall

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University jazz studies program will present the sixth annual “Fall Jazz Showcase” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in Fowler Center’s Riceland Hall.  Admission is free.

This year’s opening concert features performances by the two large ensembles, A-State Jazz Lab, and the premier ensemble, A-State Jazz Orchestra.  The music runs the complete gamut from dance band music from the legendary swing era to exciting fresh sounds of today’s jazz, according to Dr. Ken Carroll, associate professor of music and director of the jazz studies program.

The Lab Band will open the concert with a swing arrangement by Tom Kubis titled “Real Loud First Note Blues.”  The evening continues with Dr. Tom O’Connor’s Cuban mambo titled “Saturday Night in Little Havana.”

Arkansas native jazz artist Michael Medrick from the Delta Jazz Workshop staff wrote a blues tune for the band, “I Always Get the Blues From You,” which shows the lightening quick creativity of the soloists.  The opening set closes with the fast-paced Tom Kubis samba, “Hey, That’s Nacho Cheese,” written for the Tom Kubis Big Band.

After a brief stage change, the A-State Jazz Orchestra will dig into Thad Jones’s classic swinger “Big Dipper,” a showcase for the talented improvisers.  The band enjoys the John Clayton arrangement of Horace Silver’s “Jody Grind,” a laid-back Mississippi front-porch dance tune.

The band will play a tough chart by Japanese composer/pianist, Toshiko Akiyoshi, “Son of Road Time,” which features the saxophone section playing multiple woodwinds.

The high point of the evening will be a premier of a new Tom O’Connor composition, “Half Way There,” written for the Jazz Writers Big Band.  The evening concludes with a trombone feature, “Back Bone” by Thad Jones.

“Remember, jazz is America’s music,” Carroll added.  “Come out to the show, enjoy an evening of exciting music performed by world class artists, and support your country’s most important export: jazz.”

For more information about this concert or other A-State music events, one may contact the Music Department at (870) 972-2094.

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