WMC jazz performance will honor Gillespie, Basie CARROLL COUNTY DIVERSIONS

April 30, 1993

Student musicians and vocalists will pay tribute to pianist Count Basie and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie on "Jazz Nite," Western Maryland College's end-of-semester evening of live jazz Thursday.

The concert, scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Decker College Center Forum, will be free and refreshments will be provided.

Players and singers from three campus jazz groups will be led by "Jazz Nite" organizer Bo Eckard, a music lecturer at the college.

The WMC Jazz Ensemble, a 21-piece group featuring some of the best musicians from the college and area high schools, will offer several Count Basie numbers in classic big band arrangements augmented by French horns, a tuba and contrabass clarinet.

Featured vocalists will be Sierra Hurtt and Rochere Whitaker.

The ensemble also will play a groove-oriented version of "Manteca," an Afro-Cuban song composed by Gillespie, Walter Fuller and Pozo Gonzales.

Jazz Workshop I, composed of five seniors and a freshman, will offer some of Gillespie's small-band compositions, including "Birk's Works" and "Groovin' High."

Jazz Workshop II, in its first semester, will perform Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow," Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" and Miles Davis' "Blues by Five."

Mr. Eckard said the tribute will allow the audience and the players to experience the different ways that Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie expressed themselves, and understand how their art is still relevant to the music they helped popularize.

"With Gillespie, you have somebody who was very associated with small group jazz, and with Count Basie, somebody who helped define the big band sound," Mr. Eckard said. "It's important to pass along not only the names of these great figures, but also their styles."

Information: 857-2290 or 857-2294.

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