Jazz Night at Shepherd University set for April 15 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Jazz Night at Shepherd University set for April 15

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For those looking to enjoy a night of jazz, the Shepherd University Ensembles, Lab Band and Jazz Combos will perform at 8 p.m. April 15 at the Frank Center theater.

The Jazz Ensembles and Lab Band will be directed by Kurtis Adam, assistant professor of music. Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis, adjunct faculty member, will direct the Jazz Combos.

Works by Duke Ellington, Chris Potter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, and Maria Schneider are some of the pieces that will be performed at Jazz Night.

Adams received his bachelor of music education degree from Tennessee Tech University and his master of music degree in performance and doctor of musical arts degree in jazz studies from the University of Colorado.  He has performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and the 9th and Lincoln Orchestra. Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D'Rivera, Greg Gisbert, Pat Bianchi, Jeff Jenkins, Brad Goode, Peter Sommer, and Paul Romaine are some of the musicians Adams has performed with.  

In 2005 Downbeat Magazine named Adams college cowinner for best original composition for "Instable Mate?" and was selected in 2007 to participate in the Paquito D'Rivera Latin Jazz Workshop, performing with the Grammy-winning saxophonist at Carnegie Hall.  

Lincoln-DeCusatis graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of music degree in composition from Ithaca College and obtained his doctor of musical arts degree in composition from University of Maryland, College Park.  He also studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique-Alfred Cortot in Paris, France and was an associate artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts studying with composer/musician Henry Threadgill. At the Alba International Music Festival in Alba, Italy, he completed a master class with various Italian composers at the Alba International Music Festival. Lincoln-DeCusatis also teaches composition and jazz piano, music theory, and electronic music media.

In addition to being an award-winning composer, current projects include performances by the Chesapeake Orchestra, the Left Bank Quartet, saxophonist Noah Gets, flutist Molly Barth, and the piano and saxophone duo Six Impossible Things.

The Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble has performed throughout the east coast and Europe. Invited to the world-renowned Montreux Jazz festival in 2003, the Jazz Ensemble played throughout Switzerland and Italy on a 9-day concert tour and took the band took their Ellington Tour to England and France in 1999.  Longwood, the Blue Ridge, and the East Coast Jazz Festivals, as well as regional festivals throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey are places in the United States it has been featured.  On May 9, they will be featured in the Friends of Music annual Tuxedo Junction.

Jazz Night admission is $10 for adults; $5 for faculty, staff, alumni, seniors and students 18 and under; and free for Shepherd students and Friends of Music MAC cardholders.  Admission and seating is first-come, first-served, and reservations are not available.  One hour prior to performance, the box office will open.  Those looking for more information call 304-876-5555 or go to www.shepherd.edu/musicweb.