East Stroudsburg University to Present Spring Jazz Concert

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on April 23, 2019, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University’s jazz ensemble and percussion ensemble will join together for a Spring Jazz Concert Wednesday, May 1at 7:30 p.m. in Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall in the Fine and Performing Arts Center, Normal and Marguerite Streets, East Stroudsburg.

“The concert as an interesting mixture of pieces, largely from more professional repertoire,” said Matt Vashlishian, D.M.A, jazz ensemble director and coordinator of the Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection,. “The program includes Evil Eyes, composed by Bill Holman, which I transcribed from the original ‘The Fabulous Bill Holman’ record, and a great big band ballad by Bob Mintzer called A Long Time Ago.”

The program also features the first vocalist since Vashlishan began the jazz ensemble.  Elizabeth Bennici, a freshman majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management from Milford, Pa., will sing Moonlight in Vermont, arranged by Frank Mantooth.

Other composers featured on the program include Thelonious Monk, Henry Mancini, John Labarbara, and Patrick Williams. Monk’s composition, Well You Needn’t, is a particular favorite of saxophonist Mariel Bria, a junior majoring in recreation services management from Roslyn, Pa. “The piece is particularly challenging for the saxophonists and we’re working hard and getting better at it,” Bria said.

Among the selections being presented by the percussion ensemble is Caravan, by Duke Ellington. Percussion ensemble member Jamee Haney, a sophomore majoring in English from Easton, Pa., likes the composition for the Latin jazz beat. “I’m learning to play mallets for the piece,” she said. “Participating in percussion ensemble is helping me improve the rhythms in my playing.”

Bass drum player Trevor Williams, a sophomore majoring in secondary education with a biology concentration from Easton, Pa., never touched percussion until he joined the ensemble. “I find that I have a greater appreciation for the roles of different sections of the band now,” Williams said. His favorite piece on the program is Beat Lab, a composition by percussion ensemble director Jim Wilson, adjunct professor of theatre, which is based on one of the cadences from the Warrior Marching Band’s repertoire.

Other works on the program include: Separate Ways by Jonathan Cain and Steve Perry (arr. by Patrick Moore), Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte (arr. Diane Downs and Rick Mattingly), and Soul Bossa Nova by Quincey Jones (arr. Rick Mattingly).

The concert, sponsored by the ESU’s department of theatre, is open to the public at no cost.  For more information about the concert, please email esuarts@esu.edu or call the Fine Arts and Performing Arts events line at 570-422-3483.