WSU Jazz Concert Planned for April 24

PULLMAN, Wash. — A Washington State University jazz concert featuring the WSU Jazz Big Band and VoJazz 2001 is set for Tuesday, April 24, on the Pullman campus. The 8 p.m. program in Kimbrough Concert Hall is open to the public without charge.

The Jazz Big Band, directed by Gregory Yasinitsky, will feature WSU student winners from the 2001 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, including composer Gus Kambeitz, vocalist Julie Silvera-Jensen, flutist Jessica Mardis and saxophonist Sparky LaPlante.

VoJazz 2001, directed by Horace-Alexander Young, will feature compositions and arrangements by WSU composers and arrangers, including “Chicago,” arranged by Yasinitsky, “Spain,” arranged by WSU student Ryan Jesperson, and Kambeitz’s award-winning, original composition, “Fall.” Kambeitz, a graduate assistant in the School of Music and Theatre Arts, won the Best Vocal Jazz Arrangement (college division) at the Hampton Jazz Festival.

A concert highlight will be the premiere of the big band version of “Demo Tune,” written especially for the group by legendary Spokane pianist Arnie Carruthers. Carruthers has performed with top figures in jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie and Bill Watrous. The pianist’s new CD, “I’m Still Swingin,’” has received national airplay, and the pianist is the subject of a recent Village Voice article.

The concert also will include the Palouse premiere of Young’s composition “Saturday Night at the Eldorado Ballroom,” composed for the reopening of the famed Houston nightspot. Guest soloists will include Carruthers and nationally acclaimed saxophonist Geof Bradfield, who recently moved to Pullman from Chicago. Bradfield continues to perform and record in Chicago, where he is a mainstay on the jazz scene.