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FMU jazz groups win awards at festival, will perform April 8

        FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University’s Jazz Express and Chamber Jazz Ensemble will perform in concert, Thursday, April 8.

         The concert will begin at 8 p.m. in the McNair Science Building auditorium on campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

         The performance will feature visiting trombone soloist Harry Watters. He is a Yamaha artist and serves with the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble in Washington, D.C. Watters spent four years touring and recording with the Dukes of Dixieland, and was a graduate assistant of professor Ellis Marsalis while a student at the University of New Orleans.

         The April 8 program will include “This Little Light of Mine,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Basin Street Blues,” and “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

         On March 27, members of the two groups participated in the UNC-Wilmington Jazz Festival. The ensembles were adjudicated by internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.

        All four members of the Chamber Jazz Ensemble received Outstanding Performance Awards. They are Rod Brown of Florence, saxophone; Blane McCracken of Florence, piano; Elizabeth McDowell of Florence, bass; and Bernard Rand of Effingham, drums. Brown was also named Outstanding Soloist and was invited by Jensen to perform with her quartet, Project O, during the culminating concert of the festival.

         Four members of Jazz Express also received Outstanding Performance Awards. They are John Probst of Florence, trombone; Blane McCracken of Florence, piano; Reesha Alexander of Florence, saxophone; and Michael Jackson of Effingham, saxophone. Jackson was also named Outstanding Soloist.

         Both groups are under the direction of Craig Alberty.

#136 / 3-31-04

Last Published: April 5, 2004 8:06 AM
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