Stephen F. Austin State University

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Gypsy jazz quintet to perform at SFA

September 2, 2008 - Sylvia Bierschenk
John Jorgenson and Charlie Chadwick of the John Jorgenson Quintet perform the group's signature gypsy jazz. The band will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in W.M. Turner Auditorium as part of the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts' University Series.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - John Jorgenson, hailed by Elton John as a "brilliant guitarist," is bringing the John Jorgenson Quintet back to W.M. Turner Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11, as part of the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts' University Series. The group last performed in Nacogdoches two years ago.

Elton John invited Jorgenson to join him on tour in 1994, and the original 18-month gig stretched into six years. Other greats in the music industry have also recognized Jorgenson's talents. He has performed with a wide variety of artists, including Benny Goodman, Sting, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Bonnie Raitt, Travis Tritt, and Luciano Pavarotti.

Earl Scruggs, with whom Jorgenson still collaborates, said, "To say that John is a superlative guitarist is an understatement. He is simply great."

The John Jorgenson Quintet will present an evening of gypsy jazz, a style made famous by Django Reinhardt. Because of his international reputation as a gypsy jazz player, Jorgenson was twice asked to recreate Reinhardt's music for feature films, "Gattica" and "Head in the Clouds."

The quintet is comprised of Jorgenson on guitar, clarinet and vocals; Kevin Nolan on rhythm guitar; Jason Anick on violin; Charlie Chadwick on double bass; and Rick Reed on percussion. The men perform standards from the gypsy jazz repertoire and Jorgenson's own compositions.

"Those not familiar with the genre can listen to samples at John's Web site, www.johnjorgenson.com," said Sylvia Bierschenk, director of arts information at SFA. "We are excited to be bringing the group back to perform their infectious, upbeat music."

"Anyone who has ever played a guitar, thought of playing a guitar or simply likes to listen to guitar should not think of missing this performance," said John W. Goodall, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts.

Prior to the concert, Herb Midgley, SFA lecturer who teaches applied guitar, history of jazz and history of rock and roll, will deliver a short lecture at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery, across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery after the concert to meet the musicians and honor the event's corporate sponsor, Cataract, Glaucoma & Retina Consultants of East Texas.

W.M. Turner Auditorium and Griffith Gallery are located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Dr. on the SFA campus.

Tickets range from $35 to $17.50 with discounts available for seniors, students and youth. Fort tickets or more information, please visit www.sfasu.edu/finearts or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.