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Synthesis to celebrate four decades of jazz at BYU with Nov. 19 performance

Synthesis jazz ensemble will celebrate four decades of big band at Brigham Young University swinging through the past with their concert, “Celebrating Nine Decades of Big Band Music,” Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center.

Tickets are $11, or $8 with a BYU or student ID. To purchase tickets, call the Fine Arts Ticket Office at (801) 422-4322 or visit

Directed by Ray Smith, Synthesis will present big band music from the past nine decades, beginning with “Moten Swing” by Count Basie from the 1920s. The concert will celebrate nine decades of jazz music, four decades of Synthesis and two decades of international jazz tours.

“It is the first time we’ve ever done a concert that spans into our history of big band jazz, representing each decade musically,” Smith said. “The audience will like the less-performed earlier jazz pieces of the good old, big band days through the evolution into modern jazz.”

Synthesis will perform “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” by Duke Ellington from the 1930s, “Salute to the Big Bands” of the 1940s, “Malaga” by Stan Kenton from the 1950s and “Channel One Suite” by Buddy Rich from the 1960s.

The program will feature “Synthesis is Born,” a Synthesis history video clip documenting 40 years of history and 20 years of international touring.

The jazz ensemble will continue the tour through the decades with “Tiptoe” by Thad Jones and the Mel Lewis Big Band from the 1970s, “Heart of the Matter” by Bob Mintzer from the 1980s, “Days of Wine and Roses” by Henry Mancini from the 1990s and “Too Close for Comfort” arranged by Gordo Goodwin from the current decade.

For more information, contact Ray Smith at (801) 422-3391.

Writer: Angela Fischer

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