The Shepherd University Department of Music will present a night of jazz at the Frank Center Theater on Sunday, April 17, at 7 pm with the Shepherd Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Kurtis Adams, assistant professor of music and director of jazz studies. A wide range of music will be performed, including works by Charles Mingus, Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, Mark Taylor, Radiohead,and Horace Silver. “A Tisket, A Tasket” by Ella Fitzgerald and Al Feldman, and “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” by Billy Strayhorn will feature Shepherd senior Jordan Bushong-Taylor, of Myersville, Maryland, on vocals.
The Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble has performed throughout the East Coast and Europe and has been a featured band in jazz festivals around the globe. Invited to the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2003, the Jazz Ensemble played throughout Switzerland and Italy on a nine-day concert tour. In 1999, the band took its Ellington Tour to England and France. In the United States the band has been featured at the Longwood, Blue Ridge and East Coast jazz festivals, as well as regional festivals throughout Virgina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. The ensemble most recently traveled to Charleston to perform at the West Virginia Music Educators Association Annual Conference in March.
Dr. Kurtis Adams joined the faculty at Shepherd University in 2010 as director of jazz studies. He has performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and the 9th and Lincoln Orchestra, and shared the stage with great musicians, including Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Greg Gisbert, Pat Bianchi, Jeff Jenkins, Brad Goode, Peter Sommer, and Paul Romaine. Adams has performed with guest artists such as Joe Lovano, Conrad Herwig, Jiggs Whigham, Tom Harrell, Bobby Shew and Bob Mintzer. In 2005, Downbeat Magazine named Adams College Co-winner for Best Original Composition for “Instable Mate?” In 2007, he was selected to participate in the Paquito D’Rivera Latin Jazz Workshop performing with the Grammy-winning saxophonist at Carnegie Hall in New York.
General admission to the Shepherd Jazz Ensemble concert is $10 for adults, $5 for Shepherd faculty, staff and alumni, senior citizens, and students 18 and under; and free to Shepherd students with a valid Rambler ID. Admission and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, and reservations are not taken. The box office opens one hour prior to performance. For more information call 304-876-5555 or visit www.shepherd.edu/music.