Jazz Groups at IUP to Present Fall Concert

Posted on 10/13/2010 6:03:31 PM

The IUP Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble will present their annual fall jazz concert on Saturday, November 6, 2010. It will be performed in Fisher Auditorium of IUP’s Performing Arts Center. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m., and admission is free.

The IUP Jazz Band, led by Keith Young, will begin the concert. Among the works to be performed are Gershwin’s popular “Strike Up the Band” as arranged by Sammy Nestico, an arrangement of “Soul Sacrifice” by Carlos Santana, and two works by saxophonist/composer Bob Mintzer titled “Techno-Pop” and “Carla.”

Following a brief intermission, the IUP Jazz Ensemble, led by Kevin Eisensmith, will perform. The group will begin its portion of the concert with W. Roy Mitchell’s arrangement of “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Also scheduled for performance are original compositions written by numerous composers, including “Sleight of Hand” by Bret Spainhour, “Street Music” by Fred Sturm, and “Seventh Street Stomp” by Eric Richards. Zach Collins, IUP tuba professor, will join the ensemble for this final work.

The IUP Jazz Ensemble was started in 1938 as a dance band and was led by Valgene Roush. It was later known as The Mellowmen, directed by Charlie Davis. It continued through the 1970s and 1980s under the direction of Daniel DiCicco, evolving with the changes of jazz and popular music. Gary Bird led the band from the late 1980s until 1998.

The Jazz Band was begun in 1977 by Bird and was later led by Christian Dickinson.

Each band performs a mixture of jazz styles from Latin to Swing and ballads to fusion, and performs approximately thirty times annually. With venues including high school jazz festivals, assembly programs, and competitions throughout the state, the groups also host their own annual Jazz Festival scheduled for April 2-3, 2011. It will feature trumpeter Marvin Stamm.

Throughout the years, many well-known guest artists have performed with the Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble, including trumpeters Vince DiMartino and Doc Severinsen, drummers Peter Erskine and Steve Houghton, pianists Ellis Marsalis, Jr., and Peter Nero, vocalists Cleo Laine and Rosemary Clooney, and saxophonist Chris Vadala, to name a few.

The concert is being presented by the IUP Department of Music and as part of IUP’s annual Family Weekend.