WSU jazz concert celebrates Black History Month

WSU’s award-winning Jazz Big Band and VOJAZZ vocal jazz ensemble will hold a concert Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. in Kimbrough Concert Hall to celebrate Black History Month.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Jazz Big Band, under the direction of Meyer Distinguished Professor of Music Greg Yasinitsky, will perform pieces by African-American composers, including the ballad “Soul Eyes” by Mal Waldron, arranged by Dave Parker.

Jazz Big Band will also play “Milestones” by Miles Davis as arranged by Mike Tomaro and “Fables of Faubus” by Charles Mingus as arranged by WSU instructor David Snider. The piece was composed in the 1950s in response to the actions of Orval Faubus, the segregationist governor of Arkansas.

Additionally, the band will perform “Waltz for Claire,” a new composition by the Jazz Big Band pianist Bryan Werry.

VOJAZZ will open the concert, performing under Director Noel Barbuto.  Barbuto has sung as a featured artist with Opera Plus, the Coeur d’Alene Symphony, Harlequin Theatre, Johnny Lewis Big Band, The Village Theatre, Carousel Players and the vocal group Akafellas.

Soloists will include saxophonists Adam Donohue, Eric Palmquist, Chris Siegmund and Matt Lanka. Trumpeters John Gronberg and Matt Reid, pianist Werry, bassist Matt Grimes and drummer Tiffany Stephens will also perform solos.

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