Presenting the SOU Jazz Collective

by Tyler Jasper

Ashland, Ore. – The Music program of the Department of Performing Arts at Southern Oregon University presents the SOU Jazz Collective on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the SOU Music Recital Hall.

The SOU Jazz Collective is the top auditioned jazz group at the university. The group showcases undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated high levels of performing ability in the jazz style. The SOU Jazz Collective recently competed against collegiate and professional ensembles to win an invitation to perform at the International Society for Music Education Conference (ISME), a major world music conference scheduled to be held in Brazil this year. This international organization is a part of UNESCO and competition for such an invitation is fierce.

 The concert features a variety of music including recognizable covers of current popular music such as “Thing of Gold” by Snarky Puppy, “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson and “Blue Ocean Floor” by Justin Timberlake. The Collective will be joined in this concert by two guest vocalists.

 “Anyone who likes jazz, pop, funk, rock, R&B, smooth jazz, soul and any other style of jazz will love this concert,” said Dr. Jeff Richmond, Program Coordinator and Director of the Jazz Collective. “This group is extremely talented. I am proud to say that they are currently winning accolades and invitations to major performances around the world. It is such a gift to have a world-class Jazz Collective performing right here in our own back yard.”

Richmond himself is recognized as a significant voice in modern jazz composition and performance education. As a professional trumpet player in the Charlotte, North Carolina area and the Midwest, he performed with such musical greats as Tom Brantley, Stefon Harris, the Carolina Brass, Jon Faddis, and Jack Wilkins’ Blue and Green Project. Richmond has published over 30 compositions with the University of Northern Colorado’s UNC Jazz Press, System Blue Publications, Row Loff Productions, Dorn Publications, and Walrus Music Publishing. He received his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition with a cognate in jazz studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Richmond has a real passion for helping young players get started and notes that “these musicians represent the future of live music in our area. I am so excited about our new format with singers, focusing on music that people love. If you want to enjoy an amazing show with unbelievable talent, look no further. This is the one.”

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for senior citizens, and free to full-time students. The Performing Arts Box Office is located in the Theatre Arts Building lobby. Box-office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and two hours prior to each performance. Tickets can be purchased with a credit card over the phone by calling 541-552-6348 or online at sou.edu/performingarts. Contact the box office for discounts offered to SOU alumni, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute participants and SNAP/Oregon Trail cardholders.

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