LSU School of Music to Present 2011 “Hot Summer Nights” Jazz Concert Series June 23-July 22
BATON ROUGE – The cool sounds of jazz music will again fill the air during a hot Louisiana summer, as the LSU School of Music presents its “Hot Summer Nights” jazz concert series.
Concerts in the series will be held Thursday, June 23, and Friday, June 24; Thursday, July 7, and Friday, July 8; and Thursday, July 21, and Friday, July 22, beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night. All concerts will take place in the LSU School of Music Recital Hall, located at the intersection of Dalrymple Drive and Infirmary Road.
Performing at the concerts will be the LSU Faculty Jazz Trio of Willis Delony on piano, Brian Shaw on trumpet and Bill Grimes on bass, along with local drummer Troy Davis.
This year, the group welcomes a host of special guests from varied traditions including bebop, contemporary jazz and a military blues band, as well as instrumentalists on guitar, saxophone, banjo and trumpet.
The series kicks off June 23, as vocalist Phillip Manuel brings his distinctive smooth sound to perform with Davis, Grimes, Willis and Brad Walker. Manuel has had a varied career that has taken him from his New Orleans hometown to Portugal and Washington, D.C. A listing of Manuel’s albums can be viewed online at www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/Phillip+Manuel/a/albums.htm.
The June 24 concert, titled “Return of the Titans,” brings to the stage Steve Masakowski, Tony Dagradi and Johnny Vidacovich to join Grimes and Delony. Since 1978, saxophonist Dagradi, guitarist Masakowski and drummer Vidacovich have performed as part of Astral Project, an innovative contemporary jazz ensemble. For more information on both Dagradi and Masakowski, visit www.tonydagradi.com or http://stevemasakowski.com.
On July 7, the bebop style will be on display during the “Bebop and Beyond” concert. Alto saxophonist Dave Glasser will join Shaw, Grimes, Delony and Davis during this performance. Glasser has performed extensively with the Count Basie Orchestra and the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars. A review of his performance at the Bar Harbor Jazz Festival called Glasser’s also saxophone playing as “Spectacular. His control, use of dynamics and tone rank him among the top players on the instrument. He uses this virtuosity intelligently, choosing just the right number of notes to get his message across. Whether wringing all the emotion out of one long note during a tender ballad or playing a flurry of them in an up-tempo tune, Mr. Glasser never loses sight of the fact that he’s telling a story.” Learn more about Glasser at www.originarts.net/daveglasser/index.php.
For the July 8 concert, “The New Orleans Connection” comes to the Capitol City as Don Vappie brings his guitar and banjo to the stage to join the group. Vappie’s repertoire includes jazz from the early years such as Jelly Roll Morton, the Astoria Hot Eight and King Oliver. Learn more about Vappie at http://vappielle.com.
The “Trumpet Summit” concert on July 21 convenes as trumpeter and LSU School of Music graduate Graham Breedlove returns to the Baton Rouge campus. Breedlove was inducted into the LSU Alumni Hall of Fame and named Young Alumnus of the Year for 2011. A student of James West, Breedlove currently performs with the U.S. Army Blues Band “Pershing’s Own.” This ensemble performs outdoor concerts and recitals at the U.S. Capitol and around the Washington area. Learn more at www.usarmyband.com.
To round out the series on July 22, “The Grand Finale” concert will feature special arrangements by Delony, Grimes and Shaw.
General admission tickets for the concerts are $20, while student, faculty and staff tickets are $10 each. Tickets can be purchased at the Union Theater Box Office in person or by calling 225-578-5128. Tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.music.lsu.edu/News/Events.html#HSN.