Swing into the holiday season with MTSU’s ‘Jazz Nu...

Swing into the holiday season with MTSU’s ‘Jazz Nutcracker’ Nov. 23

MTSU jazz students, faculty and alumni will be joined by special Nashville guests to jazz up a classic for the holiday season, performing “The Jazz Nutcracker” on Monday, Nov. 23, as part of the 2015-16 MTSU Jazz Artist Series.

The performance, which will feature the Tennessee Jazz Collective, is set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 in Hinton Hall in the university’s Wright Music Building.

Jazz Nutcracker album webTickets are $10 for the public. Admission is free for MTSU students, faculty and staff with a valid ID, and discounts for area music students and educators also are available.

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Russian composer Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky created “The Nutcracker Suite” for ballet in 1891. Jazz greats Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn worked it into a nine-movement jazz orchestra piece in 1960, creating an instant and treasured classic.

“This familiar holiday suite will come alive with a jazz orchestra comprising MTSU jazz faculty members, alumni, students and area jazz musicians, including Josh Harner, Mike Parkinson and Jim Williamson on trumpet, Roy Agee and Josh Scalf on trombone and Matt Davich on lead alto/clarinet,” said Jamey Simmons, director of jazz studies in MTSU’s School of Music.

Jazz radio personality Austin Bealmear, whose syndicated program, “Jazz on the Side,” airs locally each Sunday on WMOT-FM 89.5, will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening.

Concertgoers can reserve advance tickets by calling 615-898-2724 or emailing Simmons at Tickets also can be purchased at the door.

Now in its 17th season, the MTSU Jazz Artist Series brings internationally renowned jazz artists to campus for performances and educational workshops. Past guest artists have included some of the most important musicians and educators in jazz history.

The series’ 2016 performances include the MTSU jazz faculty’s “The Music of Wayne Shorter” Feb. 18 and a visit from saxophonist Steve Wilson March 19 as part of the daylong MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival.

Both are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Hinton Hall.

For more information about MTSU’s Jazz Artist Series, visit For details on more MTSU School of Music performances, call 615-898-2493 or visit the School of Music’s Concert Calendar online.

— Gina E. Fann (