March 29, 2022 – Two Santa Fe College (SF) student bands, the Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble, will perform their annual “Jazz Up Spring” concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville.
Seating is limited and tickets are $15 for adults; $9 for seniors, students, military service members and children under 12; and free for SF students, faculty and staff with college ID cards. Tickets are available from the Fine Arts Hall box office at 352-395-4181 or online from Showpass at showpass.com/jazz-up-spring.
“Jazz is America’s original art form that was created by African American musicians in the early 1900s in New Orleans,” explained SF Associate Professor of Music and Band Director David Smith. “Swing music evolved from jazz and changed society by bringing white people and people of color together, not only in audiences but also in bands such as Benny Goodman’s. The music helped to unite Americans during segregation in ways we hadn’t seen before.”
The Jazz Combo will open the concert with three musical numbers that feature the improvisational skills of the student musicians. “Improvisation builds creative skills by enabling musicians to create music on the spot while playing in a group,” Smith said. “Everyone in the ensemble will have a chance to express themselves as a soloist.” Featured selections include the jazz standards “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Just Friends” and “Buster Rides Again.”
The Jazz Ensemble will close the concert with six selections that include two tunes by the great jazz composer and bandleader, Duke Ellington, in honor of his April birthday—“Satin Doll” and “Don’t Get Around Much Any More.”
Smith, a trombonist with a background in jazz composition and performance, has arranged two of the numbers that the Jazz Ensemble will play, “Blue Bossa” by Kenny Dorham and “St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins. “I had a lot of fun arranging these tunes!” Smith exclaimed. “Jazz is a creative art form that allows for complete originality.”
For “Jazz Up Spring,” two vocalists from Music Professor Lynn Sandefur’s voice classes will perform with the 21 students who make up the Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble.
Because of COVID restrictions during 2020-2021, this will be the first full concert that Smith will conduct in the Fine Arts Hall.
“Jazz Up Spring” is organized and sponsored by the Santa Fe College Fine Arts and Entertainment Media Department. For ticket information, call 352-395-4181.