The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will kick off this season’s Collegiate Series with a concert by Bluetrane, Marshall University’s faculty jazz ensemble, on Tuesday, Nov 10, at 7 p.m. The program will take place in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The concert is free and the public is invited to attend.
Bluetrane features Ed Bingham, director of jazz studies, on saxophone; Steve Hall, professor of percussion and director of the Percussion Ensemble and the African Drumming and Dance ensemble, on drums; Sean Parsons, professor of jazz piano and instructor of improvisation, history and theory, on piano; Martin Saunders, director of combos, on trumpet; Mike Stroeher, professor of trombone and music education, on trombone; and Mark Zanter, head of theory and composition, on bass/guitar.
“It’s a delight to be a part of the Collegiate Series at the Culture Center. The College of Fine Arts at Marshall University is comprised of many talented faculty members and students, and to represent such fine artists is an honor,” said Parsons.
The Tuesday performance will feature compositions from the group’s namesake album, Blue Trane, recorded by John Coltrane in 1957. There also will be some contemporary pieces written and arranged by group members and standard selections from the American Songbook.
The group was created to provide a professional model for students at Marshall University (MU) and to establish a musical ensemble devoted to the performance of what has been termed “America’s National Treasure.” The jazz faculty members at MU continue a tradition of presenting America’s best-recognized musical art form, jazz, to the people of West Virginia.
Bluetrane first performed as part of the MU Jazz Festival. As host of one of the longest-running collegiate jazz festivals, Marshall has hosted many of the world’s best-known performers. Artists who have performed comprise a veritable “Who’s Who” among important jazz musicians. The list includes Joe Farrell, Phil Wilson, Gary Burton, Art Pepper, Maynard Ferguson and Orchestra, Stan Kenton and Orchestra, Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd, Herbie Mann, Dominic Spera, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Buddy Morrow, the Count Basie Orchestra, Bob Thompson, Oliver Nelson, Byron Stripling and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band to name a few.
Bluetrane is central to the jazz studies program at MU. Housed in the Jomie Jazz Center, the jazz program enjoys a state-of-the-art rehearsal, performance and recording facility. Members of Bluetrane teach classes in performance, jazz history and improvisation and prepare the next generation of musicians and educators for the challenges of preserving the past and energizing the future of jazz.
For more information about the Collegiate Series or the Bluetrane concert performance, contact Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner for the Division, at (304) 558-0220.
The Collegiate Series consists of performances and lectures by students and faculty from West Virginia’s colleges and universities. First Lady Gayle Manchin is the host of the program.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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