July 23, 2014  

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Free Jazz Concert Features Student Compositions, Classic Renditions

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Funk, Afro-Latin and swing music will all be on the menu for the Jazz Lab Band I concert at 7:30 p.m. Fri., Nov. 19 on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus.

The Southern Miss Jazz Sextet and Jazz Lab Band I will present a night of classic jazz and original student arrangements in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium. The concert will open with the Sextet, which will perform arrangements written by Tyler Dennis, a senior Jazz Studies major from Decatur, Ala., and Ryan Raziano, another senior Jazz Studies major from Perkinston, Miss.

Under the direction of Larry Panella, associate professor of music and director of jazz studies, the Jazz Lab Band I will perform compositions by great arrangers like Bill Holman and Thad Jones, as well as other writers.

 “As jazz education becomes an increasingly rare offering in high school music programs in this region, it means that a great number of classic jazz compositions get overlooked as teachers gravitate towards ‘jazz’ arrangements of more current pop tunes,” Panella explained.

The Jazz Studies program at Southern Miss has a long and illustrious history thanks to the hard work of faculty members and talented students who dedicate their time and talent. Among the notable guest artists who have performed with the Jazz Lab Band I are Ira Sullivan, Bob Berg, John Fedchock, Ellis Marsalis, Jeff Coffin, Russ Nolan and Jovino Santos Neto.

Raymond Bradford, a junior jazz studies major, played bass in the Grenada High School band before coming to Southern Miss. Bradford, who plays bass in Jazz Lab Band I, hopes the campus and local community will come enjoy the free concert.

“If you like jazz you’ll love this concert. Some of the music will make it impossible for you to stay in your seats. It makes you move,” Bradford said.

Jazz Lab Band II will also perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the same location. Both concerts are free admission.

For more information on the Jazz Lab Band I concert, contact the School of Music at 601.266.6855.