April 4, 2023 – Two jazz groups, the Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Combo, will celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month with a “Jazz Up Spring” concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, 2023, in the Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville. Santa Fe College (SF) Associate Professor of Music and Band Director David L. Smith will direct both groups.
Tickets are $15 for adults; $9 for seniors, students, military service members and children 12 and under; 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: https://www.showpass.com/jazz-up-the-spring/
Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) was created at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2001 to recognize and celebrate the heritage and history of jazz each year in April. Jazz music is widely recognized as the USA’s only original art form.
“The evening’s program will celebrate the golden age of jazz in the 1920s and ’30s, with music by Duke Ellington, the Count Basie Orchestra and Benny Goodman,” Smith said. “Jazz united people in that segregated era by cutting across divisions of race and socioeconomic status. That was true of the people who danced and enjoyed the music and it was especially true of the bands. It didn’t matter what color you were, as long as you had talent and could play music—there was a place you belonged, and that was on the bandstand. That time period was an important part of American history that we need to know and understand.”
The 17 students in the Jazz Ensemble will perform such classics as “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Stompin’ at the Savoy” and “Harlem Nocturne.”
The five-piece Jazz Combo will perform “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and “I’ll String Along With You.” The Combo will also feature students demonstrating their creative abilities with original jazz improvisations.
“Jazz Up Spring” is organized and sponsored by the Santa Fe College Fine and Performing Arts and Entertainment Technology Department. For more information, call Smith at 352-395-5313.
For more information about tickets, call the SF Box Office at 352-395-4181.