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Lafayette music faculty and special guests will present “Jazz for the Season” at noon Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the Williams Center for the Arts.

This third annual holiday-themed concert is free and open to the public. Lunch may be brought or purchased for $3.

Faculty who will perform are J. Larry Stockton, professor and head of music, percussion; William E. Melin, professor of music, trumpet; Skip Wilkins, piano; Cliff Tracy, saxophone, and Frank Flandorffer, guitar.

“The concert gives people the opportunity to hear Christmas tunes played in a different jazz fashion. It’s spontaneous, on-the-spot composition, a chance to interact with other musicians’ thoughts,” says Flandorffer, who has played in the New York and Philadelphia area nearly every weekend this semester with his Frank Michael Orchestra. “We take a basic Christmas theme and everyone does their own creative thing with it, which is what jazz is all about. There’s restructuring, reharmonizing in a spontaneous fashion collectively, but featuring each person.

“The concert showcases the music department and the fact that we’re all active, performing musicians,” he adds. “And when students have the opportunity to see their professors in performance, they view what we’re talking about in class in a different light.”

Stockton is a specialist in Japanese traditional music, specifically music of the Kabuki theater. In addition he teaches courses in world music traditions, jazz, East Asian studies and various other courses within the department and the College. In addition, he directs the Percussion Ensemble and World Music Ensemble. He is also active as a performer, conductor, and clinician. He has published numerous articles and conducted workshops in Japanese music. In 1992-93, he produced a four-volume set of band music for Toshiba-EMI, Ltd.

Melin is both a performer and musicologist. His special interests include music of the Middle Ages, American music, and electro-acoustic music. He has published an edition of the music of the 15th century and articles on technology and music. He teaches electronic music, music in Western civilizations, American music, and various other courses within the department. He is active in the College Music Society and other organizations.

A jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, Wilkins teaches music theory, music fundamentals and jazz piano at Lafayette. He has performed with David Liebman, Bobby Watson, Plas Johnson, Conte Candoli, and Mark Murphy, among many others. His new recording, Petty Theft, which features Liebman, is due out on Cathexis records in January 2001.

Flandorffer teaches all styles of guitar, Segovia method, fingerstyle, advanced jazz guitar, and improvisation/arranging. He is an extremely versatile performer with credits that include studio work for PBS and performances with Tom Jones, Sonny and Cher, Bob Hope, and the Carpenters.

Categorized in: Academic News