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Tickets Go on Sale for Popular Big Band
Era Concert to Be Presented Sept. 22-23

RELEASED: Aug. 8, 2006

Big Band brochure imageEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's popular Big Band Era Concert, presented by the department of music and theatre arts, will take place earlier this year, with tickets going on sale Aug. 14.

"A Salute to the Big Bands and Tony Bennett," will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, in Zorn Arena.

This year's event will continue to recognize and honor the soldiers, workers, volunteers and families who have devoted themselves to keeping the United States a free nation and also will pay special tribute to the life and musical career of Tony Bennett, who performed with military bands as part of his own army service during World War II. On Dec. 4, 2005, Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honors Recipient for a Lifetime Contribution to the Arts and American Culture. Veterans are especially invited to attend the event, along with all Big Band lovers, alumni and friends of UW-Eau Claire.

Both performances will include the pre-concert social hour, from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. for the Friday evening performance and from 1 to 1:45 p.m. for the Saturday matinee. A variety of snacks and beverages will be available for purchase, including birthday cake in honor of Bennett's 80th birthday.

UW-Eau Claire's award-winning Jazz Ensembles I and II, under the direction of Robert Baca and Jeffery Crowell, respectively, will provide the salute and the swing, providing dancers with plenty of opportunities to both jump and jive and slow dance.

The first half of the concert will feature Swing Era classics and big band favorites popularized by such greats as Benny Goodman, The Dorseys, Glenn Miller and a host of others. The second half will highlight Bennett's favorite standards, sung by some of the Chippewa Valley's most talented singers. Selections will include "Because of You," "Fly Me to the Moon," "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Night and Day," "Just in Time," and Bennett's signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." New this year are performances of special original arrangements recently donated to the jazz studies area.

The two ensembles typically engage in a lively "swing battle," featuring a full array of instrumental and vocal features and surprises, including performances by Baca and Crowell.

Baca, director of jazz studies at UW-Eau Claire, was a touring member of the Frank Sinatra Orchestra, The Buddy Rich Band, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Les Elgar, Frank Sinatra Junior, Charles Asnavour, and Pia Zadora orchestras, as well as the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller Tribute Bands. He continues to perform regularly around the country.

Crowell, assistant professor of music, teaches applied percussion and techniques. His performance and recording credits include work with artists such as Bobby Shew, Henry Mancini, Kent Nagano, Buddy Baker and John Bergamo. He's an artist/clinician for Pearl/Adams Drums and Percussions, Sabian Cymbals, and Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets. He recently signed an artist contract with REMO drumheads.

Proceeds from "A Salute to the Big Band Era" will provide support for activities in UW-Eau Claire's jazz studies area. The university's jazz ensembles have earned numerous awards over the years and have produced 12 CDs to critical acclaim. Five have won Down Beat magazine's "Best College Big Band" award and two were nominated for Grammy Awards. Two new CDs will be released this fall. "Jazz in Clear Water-Buleria, Solea, Rumba" will be released in October and a Christmas CD, "Jazz in Clear Water Christmas is My Favorite Time of Year," will be released close to Thanksgiving. Both will be available in Borders and Barnes and Nobles bookstores. About 100 students currently participate in the jazz studies area.

Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for those 62 and over, youth 17 and under and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff; $11 per person for organized groups of 10 or more; and $10 for UW-Eau Claire and UW System students. Tickets sales will begin Aug. 14 at the University Service Center in Davies Center. Call 715 836-3727 or 800 949-UWEC to request a brochure with more information and a ticket order form. Tickets can be charged by phone for an additional $3 fee. Patrons are requested to identify any special assistance needs when purchasing tickets.

Tickets also will be sold at the door as space allows.

-30-

NW

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