The Delta State University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Associate Professor of Music Dr. Bret Pimentel, will present its annual concert at 7:30 PM on Thursday, April 25, in the newly-renovated Zeigel Hall Band Room. The concert is free and open to the public.
The concert will feature special guest vocalist Tricia Walker, director of Delta State’s Delta Music Institute, and guest drummer Dr. Ben Arnold, associate professor of music at Mississippi Valley State University.
The DSU Jazz Ensemble is a 15-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 DSU Jazz Ensemble’s repertoire includes favorites from the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s as well as more contemporary jazz styles from the 1950s to the present. This concert’s lineup includes new and classic jazz music by great composers and arrangers such as Horace Silver, Billy Strayhorn, Sammy Nestico, Bob Mintzer, and Stevie Wonder.