By SEAN ROWLEY
Local aficionados of jazz music have a complimentary opportunity to hear Northeastern State University’s award-winning jazz ensemble to start the 2013-14 Green Country Jazz Series.
The series opens with a free concert by the NSU Jazz Ensemble at 7 p.m. on Sept 30 at the NSU Jazz Lab, 315 N. Muskogee Ave.
“Some musicians have graduated from the wind section,” said Dr. Tommy Poole, director of jazz studies at NSU. “We have some key players and great soloists returning, but the audience will also see a lot of fresh faces this year.”
The ensemble has released six CDs, including its most recent, On Cue, recorded with guest artist Seamus Blake.
In 2012, the NSU Jazz Ensemble was chosen to perform at the annual convention of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association. NSU’s ensemble was chosen from among other colleges and was the only jazz ensemble to perform at the convention.
“For the opening concert, we are really just going to feature the band,” Poole said. “I will be playing with the ensemble at this concert, and during most concerts over the course of the series.”
The series will host its first special guest on Nov. 4, when trombonist John Fedchock visits the Jazz Lab on Nov. 4 for a 7 p.m. concert with the ensemble. Admission is $5.
He also performs with the ensemble on Nov. 3 at the Jazz Depot in Tulsa at 5 p.m. General admission is $15, and $10 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free. The Jazz Depot is on the upper level of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 111 E. First St. Information about the concert is available at www.okjazz.org.
“Fedchock is here as part of the Oklahoma Jazz Educators Association workshop, which NSU is hosting for the third consecutive year,” Poole said. “Hosting the workshop is quite an honor for us. Fedchock was a guest of the series four or five years ago, and I knew we would have him come back someday.”
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Fedchock’s professional career dates to 1980, when he joined the Woody Herman Orchestra, with which he performed for seven years. He has recorded and release compilations with his 16-piece John Fedchock New York Big Band, and John Fedchock’s New York Sextet.
In 2003, Fedchock received a Grammy nomination for best instrumental arrangement on the song “Carribean Fire Dance” off his album “No Nonsense.” He is also a jazz trombone instructor at Purchase (N.Y.) College.
Another guest of the workshop is Jamey Aebersold, a saxophonist and jazz teacher.
“Aebersold is renowned for his abilities as a jazz instructor,” Poole said. “No one who teaches jazz hasn’t heard of him.”
Poole added that reservations can be made for Jam-Balaya on Jan. 31, 2014.
Special guest for the concert and dinner is Al Hood. Admission is $35 for couples and $25 for individuals.
For information about the Green Country Jazz Series, or to make reservations for Jambalaya, call the NSU Jazz Lab at (918) 444-4603 or visit nsujazz lab.com.
For a complete schedule of the 2013-’14 NSU Jazz Series, visit www.tahlequahTDP.com/onlineexclusives.