September 28, 2021

Jazz Singers, Jazz Orchestra to perform Oct. 5

The UNL Jazz Singers and UNL Jazz Orchestra will perform Oct. 5 in Kimball Recital Hall. Photo by Taylor Sullivan.
Taylor Sullivan | Courtesy

Taylor Sullivan | Courtesy
The Jazz Singers and Jazz Orchestra will perform Oct. 5 in Kimball Recital Hall.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Jazz Singers and Jazz Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in Kimball Recital Hall.

The Jazz Singers, under the direction of David von Kampen, is a small choir, open (via audition) to all members of the university community. Students are instructed in jazz style, ensemble singing, lyric delivery, solos and improvisation. The ensemble performs arrangements of standard and contemporary jazz repertoire in collaboration with a rhythm section.

Their program includes “Twisted” by Wardell Gray and Annie Ross, arranged by von Kampen; “Otoño” by Vince Mendoza, arranged by von Kampen; “The Valley” by Ethan Gruska, arranged by von Kampen; and “Murder by Numbers” by Gordon Sumner and Andy Summers, arranged by Kerry Marsh.

“I hope people are excited to come out and hear live music again,” von Kampen said. “I know all the students are really eager to share songs directly with an audience. I’m particularly excited for the group to premiere a brand new arrangement of the chart ‘Twisted.’ It’s a tune composed by the bebop saxophonist Wardell Gray, with lyrics by Annie Ross (of the legendary vocal jazz group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross). Our arrangement is very faithful to both Gray’s original instrumental recording and the LHR adaptation. It’s an opportunity for the singers to dive into the heavy, line-based language of bebop, and also to improvise a little bit.”

The Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Greg Simon, is the university’s showcase jazz organization and one of the Glenn Korff School of Music’s most visible performing groups.

Their program includes “Facing East” by Marcus Lewis; “61st and Rich’it” by Thad Jones; Pasar el Tiempo, Aunque Fugaz, Contigo” by Edward Perez; “Deliverance” by Louie Bellson, arranged by Bill Holman; and “The Ravine” by Erica Seguine.

“It’s such a thrill to be able to perform with a live audience again. Jazz is a community art form, and there’s nothing like sharing it with a group of people in the same room as the musicians,” Simon said. “There are lots of highlights in this program, but maybe one of my favorites is ‘Pasar El Tiempo, Aunque Fugaz, Contigo’ (‘To spend a moment, however brief, with you’) by Edward Perez. Edward is an incredible bassist and composer who plays with and writes for the Terraza Big Band in New York. He’s part of a community of New York City-based composers (one of whom, Erica Seguine, is also on our program) who are finding new ways for the big band to sound, to perform and to find new audiences. This whole program is a showcase of the ways jazz has grown, even during COVID, and a preview of the directions it might go.”

Tickets are $5 general admission and $3 students/seniors, available at the door. The concert will also be live webcast, with details announced here the day of the performance.