Jazz Ensemble to perform 21st century pieces

Brooke Bower

The Kent State Jazz Ensemble will perform a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Cartwright Hall.

“These are two big, 18 piece bands,” said Chas Baker, the director of the second ensemble. “We do a major concert each semester and a few small ones at various places.”

The concert will start with the second ensemble under the direction of Bobby Selvaggio, a well-known jazz musician in New York City and a new Kent State faculty member. Baker said they are all excited to have him here.

The first ensemble will follow. Baker said the first jazz ensemble is an award-winning band that recently won an award from the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in Chicago.

“The selections really are a mixed bag,” he said. “There’s music from some of the jazz greats and then some more modern music.”

Baker said the ensembles will be playing some music by Thad Jones, Thelonious Monk, Gordon Goodwin and many more from traditional to 21st century jazz pieces. He said Selvaggio has the second ensemble playing some of his own work.

He said Maria Jacobs, senior music education major, will sing a solo in “East Of The Sun (and West of the Moon)” by Brooks Bowman and “Come Rain Or Come Shine” by Harold Arlen.

“She will light up the whole hall,” Baker said.

Along with Jacobs, numerous seniors have feature solo pieces in the concert, he added.

“I’m really proud of the kids and how hard they’ve worked,” Baker said. “We’re all excited for it.”

–Brooke Bower