Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA jazz bands concert offers jazz, blues and Latin tunes

October 4, 2011 - Sylvia Bierschenk
NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the Swingin' Axes and Swingin' Aces jazz bands in a joint concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

Under the direction of Deb Scott, SFA associate professor of trombone, the Swingin' Aces will open the concert with a varied program that includes jazz, blues and Latin tunes.

In particular, the group will perform Stan Kenton's "The Peanut Vendor," a traditional jazz piece featuring Richwood sophomore Frank Luera on trombone; and "Among the Pyramids," a "terrific and unique Latin chart," according to Scott.

Also included on the program is Sammy Nestico's arrangement of "I'm Beginning to See the Light" by Rory Bourke, which will feature Nacogdoches sophomore Jacob Barnhill on alto saxophone and Keller senior Matt Thomas on guitar.

The Swingin' Aces' rendition of John LaBarbera's "Basie's Buddy B" will feature Baytown freshman Jeshua Watts on bass, Granbury junior Laura Wright on vibraphone and various soloists improvising the blues.

For its portion of the concert, the Swingin' Axes will present "an exciting program of jazz compositions and arrangements by several of today's most respected jazz musicians," said SFA Associate Professor Gary Wurtz, the group's director.

The program includes a "killer arrangement of the jazz standard 'After You've Gone' by Bill Holman as well as the classic arrangement of 'Over the Rainbow' for Stan Kenton by Bill Russo, which will spotlight Katy senior Webb Gardner on trombone," Wurtz continued.

Contemporary tunes "Persevere" and "The Path Well Chosen" will showcase the improvisation talents of Humble sernior Darron Carrington and Brownsville graduate student Robert Palermo on saxophones.

"The rumba-flamenco style of Michael Mossman's 'Spanish Fires' will thrill the audience right from its opening trumpet flare," Wurtz said.

W.M. Turner Auditorium is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for students. For tickets or more information, go to www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.