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BYU celebrates 25th annual Jazz Festival March 11-13

The Brigham Young University annual Jazz Festival just got bigger and a whole lot "phatter."

This year’s festival, which celebrates 25 years, will feature three different concerts, including performances by the Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band, Synthesis and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.

The Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band, under the direction of Steve Call, will perform on Thursday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Madsen Recital Hall.

Synthesis, directed by Ray Smith, will perform on Friday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.

Synthesis will also join the special guest artists of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Fat Band on Saturday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.

Tickets for each performance at $9 and $3 off with a BYU or student ID are available through the Fine Arts Ticket Office, (801)378-4322 or at www.byu.edu/hfac.

The festival will also include workshops and clinics for area high school students held in the Harris Fine Arts Center.

“It’s joyful music,” Call said. “There’s just no way you can not feel happiness when you listen to ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ or ‘Sweet Georgia Brown.’”

Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band prepares performances by listening to and copying recordings of great musicians of the past. Improvisation is a big part of traditional jazz—each musician has a role. The trumpet plays an embellished melody, the trombone creates a lower counter melody, the clarinet is responsible for high-pitched harmonies, and the piano, banjo, tuba and drums—the rhythm section—lay down a solid beat.

Similarly popular, Synthesis combines swing, blues, jazz, Latin and fusion styles into a feast of jazz entertainment. Not only will the group perform its own concert, but will join with Emmy-winning composer Gordon Goodwin and his Big Phat Band.

For more information on the BYU Jazz Festival, call director of jazz studies Ron Brough at (801)422-3320.

Writer: Rachel M. Sego

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