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March 23, 2007

Purdue Super Jazz Jam to explore many eras, styles of jazz

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue's Super Jazz Jam concert on March 30 will feature four bands and pieces by artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Pat Metheny and Thelonious Monk.

The Purdue Jazz Band, Lab Jazz Band, Concert Jazz Band and American Music Repertory Ensemble will cover multiple eras and styles of jazz in the annual concert, which will take place at 8 p.m. in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse. It is free and open to the public.

"We're going to keep the music going and cover a lot of styles with a lot of tunes people will recognize," said M.T. "Mo" Trout, who directs all four bands. He said each of the bands has a small program designed to fit their strengths.

Trout said this means jazz lovers will hear tunes that emphasize trumpets, such as Maynard Ferguson's "Coconut Champagne" and Mark Taylor's "Brass Machine," during the Concert Jazz Band's set. Bebop tunes, including Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts," also will be on the roster.

The Lab Jazz Band will perform a very challenging piece, "Swing, Swing, Swing," by John Williams to open its set, Trout said.

Marissa Kokini, a sophomore in the School of Nursing from Lafayette, Ind., will make her debut as a jazz singer with the Lab Jazz Band on Cole Porter's classic, "Love for Sale."

Drummer Tyler Fox, a senior in the College of Technology from Waterloo, Ind., will be spotlighted in Metheny's "Minuano," and the Lab Band's entire saxophone section will be featured in Don Menza's "Groovin' Hard." The set also will include an arrangement of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies," which alternates between Latin and swing.

Trout said the American Music Repertory Ensemble usually will focus on works by one composer, but the group will play a variety of big band hits from the swing era during this performance. The set will include Ellington's "Jump for Joy," Count Basie's "Aces and Faces" and the Glenn Miller Orchestra's "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and "Tuxedo Junction."

The concert's final set will feature "Round Midnight" by Thelonious Monk and "It Might As Well Be Spring," two songs that helped the Purdue Jazz Band earn Outstanding Band honors at the 2007 Elmhurst Jazz Festival in Chicago. The group also will perform "It's All Right With Me," a Porter tune arranged by Gordon Goodwin.

Trout said Goodwin's "Hunting Wabbits" may surprise audience members.

"It's a tribute to cartoons from the 1950s and '60s and it is absolutely nuts," he said. "'Hunting Wabbits' doesn't start out sounding like jazz at all but it gets there. It's very fun and very unusual."

Purdue's jazz bands will perform together one final time during the 2006-07 season in Jazz on the Hill, an outdoor concert on April 20 at Slayter Center.

Writer: Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands public relations director, (765) 496-6785, kcmatter@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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