Saxophonist completes MTSU Jazz Artist Series with...

Saxophonist completes MTSU Jazz Artist Series with April 5 concert

The final concert of MTSU’s 2013-14 Jazz Artist Series will feature tenor saxophonist John Ellis and the MTSU Jazz Ensemble 1 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5, in Hinton Music Hall inside the university’s Wright Music Building.

The performance also will be the culmination of the daylong MTSU Jazz Festival, which offers instrumental and vocal students at the junior high and high school levels an individual focus on jazz style and the art of jazz improvisation.

Tenor saxophonist John Ellis will be the featured performer for the final concert of MTSU’s 2013-14 Jazz Artist Series this Saturday night, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Wright Music Building. (photo submitted)

“A master class with one of our jazz faculty members will also be a feature of the day’s activities for students,” said Jamey Simmons, director of jazz studies at MTSU. “The beauty of this format is that the whole ensemble need not attend but are in fact welcome at the same time.”

Tickets for the April 5 concert are $10 for the general public and can be reserved by calling 615-898-2724 or emailing Admission is free for MTSU students, faculty and staff with valid ID. Discounts for area band students and educators are also available.

Jazz artist Ellis is widely recognized as one of New York’s premiere tenor saxophone voices. A sideman to artists as diverse as bassist John Patitucci, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenon, Ellis has performed extensively around the world for the last 20 years and has more than 100 album credits as a sideman.

He was the second-place winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition in 2002 and the recipient of three composition grants through The Jazz Gallery for the creation of new work (“Dreamscapes,” “The Ice Siren” and “MOBRO”). Ellis has released seven albums as a leader, two featuring his popular New Orleans-centered band Double-Wide, which has toured extensively and was featured on the Main Stage of the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.

MTSU’s Jazz Ensemble 1 is the top performing large ensemble in the jazz studies program at MTSU. It features the most experienced student players and concentrates on cutting-edge literature and master works from the big band repertoire. This ensemble has toured throughout the region, recruiting and performing at collegiate festivals, and performs each year at the MTSU Jazz Festival with an internationally acclaimed jazz artist.

For more information about MTSU’s Jazz Artist Series, please visit or call 615-898-2493. For more about the annual Jazz Festival, please visit