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Jazz Big Bands Swinging to the Music of Europe

Thursday, Oct. 03, 2013

poster for USU Jazz Big Bands concert

Students in two jazz ensembles at Utah State University are featured in "Jazz Big Bands," Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performance Hall. The concert features music by a variety of European composers.

Utah State University Jazz Big Bands perform the music of European composers in a fall concert Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performance Hall on USU’s Logan campus.

“This is not your typical big band jazz music,” said Jon Gudmundson, director of jazz studies and associate professor in the Caine College of the Arts. “Doubling is off the scales and there is a lot of writing across the different band sections, creating a hybrid sound different from sectional music composed by Americans.”

Doubling in music is where one musician plays multiple instruments, switching between them. Sectional music in jazz means there are parts that only a certain instrument plays at a time and rotates among the different instruments in the big band.

“For this performance, we are doing something new to include stimulating visuals,” said Gudmundson. “A few graduate students in the art department are working on a visual production, so the performance is a multi-media experience. Instead of audience members just sitting and listening to the music, they will have something to look at while listening to the talented students.”

The performance features two big bands, the Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Ensemble. Gudmundson directs the orchestra, while Greg Wheeler, professor and assistant director of jazz studies, directs the jazz ensemble. The Jazz Orchestra will perform the music of German composers Florian Ross, Rainer Tempel and Stefan Schultze; and Swedish composers Christer Olofsson and Niclas Rydh. The Jazz Ensemble will perform the music of various composers, highlighting a variety of jazz styles, including funk, Latin and traditional.

“The power of this music will speak to everyone and people will enjoy the wide variety of jazz styles,” said Wheeler. “The students are great and will give an excellent concert.”

Tickets for the Jazz Big Bands performance are $10 adults, $8 seniors and youth, $5 USU faculty and staff and free for USU students with ID. For more information or tickets, visit the Caine College of the Arts Box Office in room 139-B of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s campus, call 435-797-8022 or go to the college’s Production Services website.

Related links:

Writer: Kara Rindlisbacher, 435-797-9203,

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

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