MAILED: Nov. 2, 2000
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claires Jazz Ensemble II will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.
The group will perform nine selections, five of which are Bob Florence tunes.
We have two baritone saxophone players in the ensemble, which is a rare thing, said Ron Keezer, associate professor of music and theatre arts and conductor of the ensemble. And Florence is known for writing music that includes two baritone sax players.
The group will open the concert with Be Bop Charlie and Autumn by Florence. Then the ensemble will perform the original version of Take the A Train by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, transcribed by Brent Wallarab of the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra.
Every selection in the program will feature at least one student soloist.
We try to feature as many soloists as we can because they are a central aspect of jazz performances, Keezer said. A variety of soloists are a sign of a good jazz ensemble.
Toward the middle of the program the ensemble will perform a slick, New York-sounding tune, Leilanis Mirror, that was written by Keezers son, Geoff. After this, the group will perform Wonderland by Benny Carter, again transcribed by Wallarab.
Carter has a lot of great works but many people dont know about them, Keezer said. That is why Wallarab is taking the time to discover and rewrite them.
Just as the program began, it will end with selections by Florence, the last selection being Willis.
This is a real cranker, Keezer said. The speed that its played at and the length of time its played is a true physical test.
Tickets, available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, are $3.75 for adults; $2.75 for those age 62 and older, children 17 and younger, and faculty or staff with a university ID; or free for students with a university ID.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Nov. 2, 2000