Jazz concert to celebrate Black History Month

A concert featuring the award-winning Washington State University Jazz Big Band and VOJAZZ vocal jazz ensemble will celebrate Black History Month at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14 in Kimbrough Concert Hall.

The concert will open with VOJAZZ performing under the direction of Noel Barbuto. Barbuto has sung as a featured artist with Opera Plus, the Coeur d’ Alene Symphony, Harlequin Theatre, Johnny Lewis Big Band, the Village Theatre, Carousel Players and the award-winning vocal group, the Akafellas.

The Jazz Big Band, under the direction of Meyer Distinguished Professor of Music Greg Yasinitsky, will present a program including pieces by outstanding African-American composers in celebration of Black History Month. The band will perform the ballad “Soul Eyes” by Mal Waldron in a unique arrangement by Dave Parker, featuring the saxophone section, and the modal jazz classic “Milestones” by Miles Davis, as arranged by Mike Tomaro. Also to be featured is “Fables of Faubus” by Charles Mingus, as arranged by WSU Jazz Bass Instructor David Snider. “Fables of Faubus” was composed in the 1950s as Mingus’s response to the actions of Orval Faubus, the segregationist governor of Arkansas. Additionally, the band will perform “Waltz for Claire,” a new composition by the Jazz Big Band’s pianist Bryan Werry.

Soloists will include saxophonists Adam Donohue, Eric Palmquist, Chris Siegmund and Matt Lanka; trumpeters John Gronberg and Matt Reid; pianist Werry; bassist Matt Grimes; and drummer Tiffany Stephens.