Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sky’s the Limit with the AM Jazz Band

HSU senior, Music Education major and saxophonist Sky Miller directs three of the six selections in the AM Jazz spring concert on Friday, May 7.

“A student director is unusual for us,” said HSU Music professor Paul Cummings, “but we want to give Sky that experience, since this is what he’s preparing to do after graduation.”

Miller will lead the jazz band in “Boogie Express,” a tune by Sonny Nestico (arranger for the Count Basie Band) in an early 20th century shuffle style. “Manteca” is a Latin tune by Dizzy Gillespie, and “Black Butterfly” is a ballad by Duke Ellington, arranged by Benny Carter.

Paul Cummings directs the band in the other three tunes: “Straight, No Chaser” by Thelonious Monk, “Ran Kan Kan” by Tito Puente and “The Mooch” by Duke Ellington. “The Mooch” is another early 20th century tune, which features two trumpets using plunger mutes. “These emulate the sound of the human voice better than other mutes,” Cummings said, “so the effect is a conversation between the two players.”

The AM JAZZ BAND plays on Thursday May 7 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7 general, $3 students/seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Free to HSU students with ID.
Media: Humboldt State Now.

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