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The Jazz Ensemble will perform its annual winter concert 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at the Williams Center for the Arts. Sponsored by the music department, the event is free and open to the public.

“It should prove to be an eclectic mix of music for the Jazz Ensemble and highly entertaining for the audience — with three vocalists featured and some strong music for the band to play,” says director Ken Brader, a renowned musician and conductor who has been featured as lead trumpet player with Chuck Mangione, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and many of the world’s leading jazz performers.

All interested students are encouraged to audition for this standard-format big band, which explores a wide variety of jazz styles with a strong emphasis on the development of individual improvisational skills. Performances occur year-round both on and off campus. In the spring, well-known professional soloists join the ensemble for a special concert. Guest artists have included Mulgrew Miller, Phil Burlin, Lew Soloff, Robert Rouch, Nelson Hill, Janet Lawson, Butch Lacy, and Urbie Green.

Performances for Friday’s concert include “The Man With the Golden Gun,” arranged by saxophonist Jack Furlong ’05 (Hopewell, N.J.) and featuring vocalist Viktorija Gecyte ’08 (Vilnius, Lithuania); “Synergy” by Erin Richards; “Spain” by Chick Corea, featuring Tim Zirkel ’08 (Honey Brook, Pa.) on trombone, John Glick ’05 (Hamden, Conn.) on flute, and David Myers ’07 (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) on tenor sax; “How High the Moon” featuring Gecyte; “The Nearness of You” featuring vocalist Kara Boodakian ’07 (Winchester, Mass.); “Moanin’,” as recorded by the Mingus Big Band, featuring Furlong on baritone sax; “Count Bubba’s Revenge” by Gordon Goodwin; “Granada Smoothie” by Mark Taylor, featuring Mike Nilson ’05 (Wantagh, N.Y) on trumpet; and “No More Blues” by Jobim, featuring vocalist David Mitchell ’05 (Bear Creek, Pa.) and Furlong on baritone sax.

“‘West Side Story’ as recorded by Buddy Rich, featuring drummer Chuck Cooper, will be our closer,” Brader adds.

Other members of the ensemble are Mike Fragassi, Greg Martin ’08 (Chappaqua, N.Y.), and Sam Roma on saxophones; John Sutton, Vince Pettinelli, Rob McEwen ’05 (Morgantown, Pa.), and Mike Werner ’07 (Neenah, Wis.) on trumpets; Ken Mease, Dave Glasser ’06 (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), and Mark Gittleman ’06 (Harriman, N.Y.) on trombones; Mike Ciliberti on piano; and Sean Comerford ’06 (Manhasset, N.Y.) on bass.

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