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. on Thursday, April 14 at the Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall on North Campus -west, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville.
Seating is limited and tickets are $15 for adults; $9 for seniors, students, military, and children under 12; and free for SF students, faculty, and staff with college IDs. Tickets are available at the Fine Arts Hall box office at 352-395-4181 or online on 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 David Smith, associate professor of music and director of the SF group. . “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 like Benny Goodman’s. Music helped unite Americans during segregation in a way we had never seen before.
The Jazz Combo will open the concert with three musical numbers showcasing the student musicians’ improvisational skills. “Improvisation builds creative skills by allowing musicians to create music on the spot while performing in a band,” Smith said. “All members of the ensemble will have the chance to express themselves as a soloist.” Featured selections include jazz standards “Sweet Georgia Brown”, “Just Friends”, and “Buster Rides Again”.
The Jazz Ensemble will close the concert with six selections, including two pieces by great jazz composer and bandleader, Duke Ellington, in honor of his April birthday — “Satin Doll” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”.
Smith, a trombonist with a background in jazz composition and performance, arranged two of the numbers the Jazz Ensemble will perform, Kenny Dorham’s “Blue Bossa” and Sonny Rollins’ “St. Thomas.” “I had a lot of fun arranging these pieces!” Smith exclaimed. “Jazz is a creative art form that allows for total originality.”
For “Jazz Up Spring”, two singers from music teacher Lynn Sandefur’s singing lessons will perform with the 21 students who make up the Jazz Combo and the Jazz Ensemble.
Due to COVID restrictions in 2020-21, this will be the first sold-out concert Smith will conduct in the Beaux-Arts Hall.
“Jazz Up Spring” is organized and sponsored by Santa Fe College’s Department of Fine Arts and Entertainment Media. For more ticket information, call 352-395-4181.