Murray State Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Band, and Blue and Gold Jazz Combos Present Fall Concert on Campus | Community


MURRAY- The Murray State University Jazz Orchestra, The Jazz Band, and the award-winning Blue and Gold Jazz Combos will present a fall concert on campus at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in historic Lovett auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. Dr. Todd E. Hill, professor of music, is the director of the university’s jazz studies program and leads the four groups.

The Jazz Orchestra will play a wide variety of repertoire, including “Move” by Miles Davis, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” by Les Brown, “My Funny Valentine” by Stan Kenton, the Jaco Pastorius version of “The Chicken “, “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” by Woody Herman, an all-new feature by Rick Hirsch for the band’s bass trombone section, “Strut” and Sammy Nestico’s new tableau of Charlie’s big band classic Barnet, “Skyliner.”

Murray’s senior vocalist Kayla Marie Little will join the group for vocal selections including the standard “Paper Moon” by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg and “I Like the Sunrise” composed by Duke Ellington for his “Liberian Suite” and recorded by Ella Fitzgerald . The Jazz Orchestra will perform by special invitation at the 2020 Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in Chicago next February.

The Jazz Band will perform a number of big band classics including Claude Thornhill’s ‘Robbins’ Nest’, Louis Armstrong’s ‘Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home’, Tommy Dorsey’s ‘I’m Getting Sentimental Over You’ , “Oliver Nelson” “Emancipation Blues” and two new compositions, “Night of the Mojito”, a boogaloo by Andrew Neu, and “Absoludicrous” by Gordon Goodwin.

The Murray State Blue and Gold Jazz Combos will make brief appearances on the program, with the Gold Combo performing Nat Adderley’s “Work Song” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia,” and the Blue Combo playing Cannonball’s “Sack o’ Woe.” Adderley and “Ceora” by Lee Morgan.

Under Hill’s leadership, the Murray State Jazz Orchestra has produced four CD releases (the fifth and sixth are in production) and performed three times at the famed Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, – earning “Outstanding Big Band” recognition, among other soloist awards – and the prestigious MidWest International Band Clinic. The group performed four times at the Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference as a featured group.

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Henry R. Wright