A full day of jazz will culminate in a three-part big band jazz concert led by jazz trombonist Scott Whitfield at 7:30 P.M. Saturday, May 7, in F.G. Bulber Auditorium at McNeese State University.
The Jazz Fest Big Band concert is part of the McNeese Banners Cultural Series. Tickets are included in a Banners Series membership. Individual tickets can be purchased online at www.banners.org, at the Lake Charles Civic Center box office and at the door. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $5 for ages 18 and under and free for McNeese and Sowela students with ID.
The three components of the jazz concert are the big band, the U.S. Air Force Brass Quintet and the winning jazz band from a festival held the same day.
The McNeese Jazz Fest Big Band will play jazz standards, including arrangements by Whitfield. Many numbers will be from the Great American Songbook, which is a collection of jazz standards written by the great composers in the early 20th century such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and George and Ira Gershwin.
The U.S. Air Force Brass Quintet will play a set of jazz numbers arranged for brass instruments.
The Brass Quintet is the most versatile small ensemble of the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. With a repertoire spanning five centuries, the quintet is equally at home performing everything from Renaissance and Baroque music all the way to popular music, marches and patriotic selections - and the jazz numbers it will perform in Lake Charles.
Opening the concert will be the winning jazz band from the McNeese Jazz Festival held during the day May 7 at McNeese. Bands from area middle and high schools will compete against each other at the Jazz Festival. Competing schools include W.W. Lewis Middle School, West Feliciana High School, Westlake High School, Barbe High School, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School, as well as the McNeese JazzEnsemble, directed by Rick Condit, and the Little Big Band, directed by Tim McMillen
The festival competition is open free to the public during the day. It will be held in the Shearman Fine Arts Theatre on the McNeese campus.
Whitfield will lead the Banners Jazz Fest Big Band for the concert.
Whitfield is an award-winning trombonist, composer, arranger and vocalist. He is internationally recognized for his work with many contemporary big bands. His compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by such artists as Diva, Maurice Hines, The Pied Pipers, Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band and Pete Petersen's 23-strong Collection Jazz Orchestra.
The Banners Jazz Fest Band features some of the finest jazz musicians in the Gulf area - Rick Condit, Mickey Smith, Woody Witt, Will Christian and Ken Snow on saxophone; Kevin Stone, Craig Konicek, Ricky Peters and Charlie Mitchell on trumpet; Steve Schoppert, Tim McMillen, Jeff Lemke and Bill Rose on trombone; Garth Alper on piano; and Jay Ecker on bass.
For more information, call the Banners Series office at 337-475-5123 or check the web site www.banners.org. Persons requesting accommodations in accordance with the ADA should contact the Office of the ADA Coordinator at least 72 hours before the event. Additional information is available from: the Office of the ADA Coordinator, Smith Hall, Room 127; Voice: (337) 475-5428; Fax: (337) 475-5960; TDD/TTY, Hearing Impaired: (337) 562-4227; or firstname.lastname@example.org.