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City’s JazzFest features MTSU’s Jazz Ensemble I in...

City’s JazzFest features MTSU’s Jazz Ensemble I in afternoon performance

Fresh off their first live performance of the year and celebrating the release of a new CD, MTSU‘s top student jazz group will be a part of Murfreesboro’s annual JazzFest, set downtown on Saturday, May 1.

The MTSU Jazz Ensemble I will perform at 3 p.m. May 1 on the stage near the historic Rutherford County Courthouse as part of the free daylong event on the city’s Public Square, which is sponsored by Main Street Murfreesboro.

MTSU’s Jazz Ensemble I is the School of Music program’s top performing student group. The experienced student musicians focus on cutting-edge works and big-band repertoire alongside new compositions and arrangements of their own.

The MTSU Jazz Ensemble I, the School of Music's top jazz student performing group, winds up the annual Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival April 10 on the stage of Hinton Hall with Lionel Hampton's classic "Flying Home," led by Jazz Studies Program director Jamey Simmons, center right in the blue shirt, and saxophone and jazz studies professor Don Aliquo, center left in the dark suit. The ensemble will perform Saturday, May 1, at 3 p.m. at Murfreesboro's annual JazzFest downtown on the Public Square. Click on the photo to see a larger version. (image courtesy of MTSU School of Music livestream)

The MTSU Jazz Ensemble I, the School of Music’s top jazz student performing group, winds up the annual Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival April 10 on the stage of Hinton Hall with Lionel Hampton’s classic “Flying Home,” led by Jazz Studies Program director Jamey Simmons, center right in the blue shirt, and saxophone and jazz studies professor Don Aliquo, center left in the dark suit. The ensemble will perform Saturday, May 1, at 3 p.m. at Murfreesboro’s annual JazzFest downtown on the Public Square. Click on the photo to see a larger version. (image courtesy of MTSU School of Music livestream)

Their JazzFest appearance may also reunite them with some of the same local middle and high school musicians who participated in MTSU’s renowned Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival on April 10.

Jazz Studies Program logoThat daylong annual event, held online for the first time this year from MTSU’s Wright Music Building, gave the younger musicians an individual focus on the jazz style and the art of jazz improvisation.

They also joined MTSU jazz students in concerts and workshops led by faculty members and guests.

The MTSU festival, conducted with support from the Tennessee Arts Council, culminated with the Jazz Ensemble I’s live performance of a few of the 10 songs included on the group’s new CD, “The Middle Way.” The collection features jazz styles ranging from the blues to big band to contemporary jazz with both instrumental and vocal performances.

One of the 10 cuts on “The Middle Way,” recorded in 2019 and 2020 through a partnership with the MTSU jazz program and the Department of Recording Industry, is available below.

Murfreesboro’s downtown JazzFest also has a young-musician focus this year, featuring a morning workshop for youngsters from preschool to elementary school and an afternoon of performances by local private and high school bands before the MTSU ensemble appearance.

The complete JazzFest schedule is available at https://mainstreetmurfreesboro.org/jazzfest.

Main Street Murfreesboro’s JazzFest logoFor more information about the MTSU Jazz Ensemble I and the MTSU Jazz Studies Program, contact program director and School of Music professor Jamey Simmons at 615-898-2724 or james.simmons@mtsu.edu.

For more information about Murfreesboro’s annual JazzFest, visit https://mainstreetmurfreesboro.org/jazzfest.

For details on MTSU School of Music performances and events, call 615-898-2493 or visit the Concert Calendar online.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

JazzFest 2021 poster from Main Street Murfreesboro


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