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Juniata Jazz Ensemble to Honor Composers from Jobim to Rollins

(Posted November 18, 2013)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Jazz Ensemble will perform classic jazz compositions ranging from bossa nova to hard bop to fusion at its annual fall concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

Tickets for the concert are $5 for adults and Juniata students with ID or children under 18 are admitted free. The Jazz Ensemble is directed by Dan Yoder, lecturer in music at Juniata.

The concert opens with "A Little Blues, Please," by Sammy Nestico, a Pittsburgh, Pa. native and a renowned jazz arranger. He is best known for his work with the Count Basie Band. Next, the group will perform "Chameleon," a jazz fusion hit by pianist Herbie Hancock. The song, from the 1970s album "Head Hunters," has since become a jazz standard, recorded by dozens of musicians.

The next selection, "Coconut Champagne," is written by Dennis DiBlasio and was originally recorded by famed big band trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. Ferguson, who specialized in playing soaring solos, featured this song in many of his concerts. Next, the ensemble will play "Count the Aces," also written by Sammy Nestico, whose career included work as a composer for films and television shows.

The concert mood will turn tropical when the ensemble plays "Desafinado," one of the best-known bossa nova hits written by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The band will follow that with "Doxy," an early composition by tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Rollins, a highly influential jazz musician, still plays this 1950s-era composition in his concerts.

The next selection, "Here's Another Rainy Day," written by Johnny Burke and James Van Husen, was originally featured in a long-forgotten Broadway show, but has since become a classic for singers and instrumentalists. Following that, the ensemble will perform "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid," written by tenor saxophonist Lester Young, a jazz giant who came to prominence in Count Basie's big band. The jazz ensemble's arrangement is by Dan Yoder.

An original Yoder composition," Nice Swing," is performed next, followed by "Sidewinder," written by trumpeter Lee Morgan, an influential musician of the hard bop era. The concert will end with "Stay Away From My Sister," a song originally performed by the Beu Sisters.

The members of the Juniata College Jazz Ensemble are as follows:

Flute: Pallma Crouch, a sophomore from Bethel, Conn., and Alex Debrecht, a junior from Winston-Salem, N.C.

Alto Sax: Kyle Kister, a junior from Somerset, Pa., and Dominic Doganiero, a senior from Wellsboro, Pa.

Tenor Sax: Kate Bock, a freshman from Warriors Mark, Pa.

Baritone Sax: Brian Gilbert, a junior from Stroudsburg, Pa.

Trombone: Maggie Burkett, a senior from Granville, Ohio; Jared Flick, a sophomore from Richfield, Pa.; and Frank Conese, a community member from Huntingdon, Pa.

Trumpet: Brandon Leckemby, a senior from Somerset, Pa.

Drums: Nikhil Bhatnagar, a junior from Sterling, Va., and Taylor Hohenstein, a freshman from Charlottesville, Va.

Bass: Rebecca Katz, a freshman from Somerset, Pa., and Alexandra Stoudt, a freshman from Fleetwood, Pa.

Piano: Ben Tansi, a senior from Wrentham, Mass.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.