Friday, February 26, 2010

Gunslingers and Exotic Dancers: HSU Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra Play American Tunes

The HSU Symphonic Band goes tandem with the Jazz Orchestra on a program of American tunes. The Band plays “Variations on America” by the “American original” Charles Ives, and the “Americans We” March by Ohioan Henry Fillmore, who toured the U.S. with his band and his wife, the exotic dancer Mabel May Jones.

Also featured in the Band portion of the program are Bugs” by the Iowan Roger Cichy, “October” by Nevadan Eric Whitacre, and “Incantation and Dance” by the Texas composer with the very Texan name of John Barnes Chance.

The Jazz Orchestra picks up the western theme with “Gunslinging Bird” by Charles Mingus, subtitled "If Charlie Parker Were A Gunslinger, There'd Be A Lot Of Dead Copycats.”

The Orchestra also plays the jazz standard “Caravan” inspired by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band version, and “Blues for C.M” by Dave Holland, a tribute to Charles Mingus. "Cottontail" by Duke Ellington is a groundbreaking piece from 1940 that presaged the bebop revolution and introduced the saxophone solo to big band arranging.

As a preview of its solo concert in May, the Jazz Orchestra will play “Big Jim Blues” by American jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams, to begin a tribute marking the 100th anniversary of her birth.

The HSU Symphonic Band directed by Kenneth Ayoob, and the Jazz Orchestra directed by Dan Aldag will perform a joint concert on Friday, February 26 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. An HSU Department of Music production.

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