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The 18-piece Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band will hold the first performance in this year’s Jazz Master series 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3 in the Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets are free for Lafayette students, $6 for students at LVAIC schools, $4 for faculty and staff, and $25 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009.

Other performances in this year’s Jazz Masters series include the Mulgrew Miller Duo, Oct. 12, $18; Mulgrew Miller and Wingspan, Nov. 22, $20; and Dianne Reeves, Feb. 7, $27. A subscription to the series costs $75, a savings of 17 percent off the single ticket price.

Formed in 1998, the tribute band performs Gillespie’s classic big band repertoire and continues the legacy left behind by the late master. The lineup includes many of Gillespie’s most loyal band members, such as artistic director Slide Hampton, James Moody, and Jimmy Heath. Also in the band are past Williams Center jazz headliners including Roy Hargrove, Lewis Nash, Mulgrew Miller, Hampton, and Heath. Thelonius Monk Prize–winning vocalist Roberta Gambarini is also featured.

This is the first event in Miller’s year as the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence. He will give a free talk at 7 p.m. prior to the concert.

The 2008–2009 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidey Williams Endowment, the J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts. Special thanks to the F.M. Kirby Foundation for extraordinary support of the 25th anniversary season, and to Joan Moran and the Amaranth Foundation for support of the Ravi Shankar commission.

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