The Delta State University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Bret Pimentel, will present the annual spring concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 21 in the Delta and Pine Land Theatre of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.
The concert will feature guest vocalist Dr. Laurissa Backlin, assistant professor of Music at Delta State. Backlin joined the Delta State faculty in 2014. The concert will also feature several student, faculty and community soloists.
The Jazz Ensemble is a 19-piece “big band” made up of music majors and non-music majors selected by competitive audition. The band is known in the community for its annual Big Band Bash fundraiser, an evening of dining, dancing and classic Swing Era music.
Big band jazz is characterized by tightly coordinated, high-energy playing from a large horn section made up of trumpets, trombones and saxophones, working in partnership with a powerful, driving rhythm section of keyboards, bass and drums. Individual group members often perform solos that are improvised—composed spontaneously in live performance.
The repertoire of Delta State’s Jazz Ensemble includes favorites from the Swing Era of the 1930’s and 1940’s as well as more contemporary jazz styles from the 1950’s to the present. This year’s concert lineup includes new and classic swing music by great composers and arrangers like Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Thad Jones, and Glenn Miller.
The concert is free and open to the public.