Warm up your Valentine’s Day with ‘Birth of Cool’ ...

Warm up your Valentine’s Day with ‘Birth of Cool’ jazz

Chill out with your valentine on Thursday, Feb. 14, and enjoy an evening with the MTSU Jazz Faculty Nonet performing music from Miles Davis’ famous 1949 recording, “Birth of the Cool.”

The second concert of the 2012-13 MTSU Jazz Artist Series begins at 7:30 p.m. inside Hinton Music Hall in the university’s Wright Music Building.

Birth of the Cool album cover

Tickets to the Feb. 14 concert are $15 for the general public and free for MTSU students, faculty and staff. Discounts for area band students and educators are also available.

Jamey Simmons, director of jazz studies at MTSU, said the legendary Davis formed the original nine-member group as a cooperative effort with other like-minded musicians in New York.

“Essentially, many of the concepts were worked out as musicians stopped by arranger Gil Evans’ apartment,” said Simmons. “The door was left open, and jazz musicians felt free to drop by and bounce musical ideas off each other. These interactions resulted in one of the greatest achievements in jazz recording history.”

Joining Simmons and his trumpet in MTSU’s Jazz Faculty Nonet are School of Music professors Don Aliquo on saxophone, Jim Ferguson on bass, Pat Coil on the piano, Derrek Phillips on drums, David Loucky on trombone, Angela DeBoer on the horn and Ben Miles on the tuba.

Nashville musician and session player Denis Solee will join the group on baritone saxophone.

“One of the most captivating things about this ensemble is the addition of horn and tuba, which are two instruments not usually associated with jazz,” Simmons said. “It’s exciting to have them play with us.”

For reserve tickets, contact Simmons at 615-898-2724 or

The 2012-13 MTSU Jazz Artist Series will conclude Saturday, Feb. 23, when multi-Grammy-winning jazz arranger/composer Bill Holman joins the MTSU Jazz Ensemble I and the MTSU Singers for a 7:30 p.m. performance. For more details on that concert, visit

For more information on MTSU School of Music concerts, call 615-898-2493 or visit and click on the “Concert Calendar” link.