The Delta State University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Bret Pimentel, will present its annual spring concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23 in the Delta and Pine Land Theatre of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.
The Jazz Ensemble will feature special guest soloist Delta State Professor of Music Dr. Mary Lenn Buchanan. Dr. Buchanan has been a member of the Delta State University faculty since 1989. She teaches studio voice and other vocal-area courses and directs the Delta State Opera Theater. Josh Armstrong, Delta State Instructor of Percussion and Assistant Director of Bands, will also make a special appearance.
The Delta State Jazz Ensemble is a 13-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 Delta State Jazz Ensemble’s repertoire 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 spring concert lineup includes new and classic takes on swing standards from the repertoires of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands, fiery Afro-Cuban sounds, lush ballads, New Orleans beats, and newer jazz sounds influenced by rock and hip-hop. The concert will feature over a dozen talented student and community soloists.
The concert is free and open to the public.