American Music Review salutes trumpeter Maynard Ferguson
A salute to Maynard Ferguson, one of the jazz world’s flashiest trumpeters, colors American Music Review’s annual “Stagedoor Spectacular” at 8 p.m. Friday, March 4, in the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette
Along with the Purdue big band and singers, the free concert will also feature Boiler Brass basketball band and dancers, twirlers and flag corps members from the Purdue Auxiliaries.
For band directors like Bill Kisinger, leader of both American Music Review and Boiler Brass, Maynard Ferguson—known for his high notes and performing pyrotechnics— represents the ultimate trumpeter.
“Maynard’s been a hero since my high school days and has existed as a hero through my entire career. His longevity is phenomenal. He’s in his 70s and still hitting all the high notes,” says Kisinger.
“Others can play high notes and play jazz, but no one, to a man, can do what he does. Maynard is unique in his talent,” adds Kisinger who believes the trumpeter has inspired more young people to pick up instruments than any other figure in jazz.
For this year’s “Stagedoor Spectacular,” Kisinger decided to pay homage to his hero by bringing in a former trumpeter from Ferguson’s Band, Danny Barber from Union, MI, and sprinkling tunes the legendary trumpeter made famous throughout American Music Review’s portion of the program.
Barber began his career in the Jazz Ensemble of the United States Field Band and toured the United States for three years. After leaving the military he was recruited by the Tommy Dorsey Band under the direction of Murray McCeaceran and Buddy Morrow, and from there he went on to play with the Maynard Ferguson Band for three years.
Barber will solo on “Theme from Rocky,” “My Funny Valentine” and “MacArthur Park.” Purdue graduate student Wally Bielat, a pharmacy major from Schererville, IN, also steps into Ferguson’s shoes with solos on “Theme from Sesame Street” to open the program and Don Sebesky’s “Fan It, Janet.”
Fans of American Music Review have come to enjoy the mix of big band jazz, Broadway and vocals on the group’s programs, and on March 4 its quartet of singers will perform “Route 66,” “We’re in This Love Together” and “Jump, Jive and Wail.”
Individual soloists will tackle “Orange Colored Sky,” “Somewhere,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “Almost Like Being in Love.”
For the “Spectacular,” the Boiler Brass leaves Mackey Arena behind for a performance and shows off its talents on songs like “Take the A Train,” “Salsation” and “Barnum & Bailey’s Favorite March.” Purdue’s Auxiliaries also gets a spotlight with the Golduster Dancers performing to Jailhouse Rock, the Golden Silks to “Peppermint Twist” and “Soak Up the Sun” and the twirling line to “Wooly Bully.” Golden Girl Christy Stalling twirls to “Livin’ On A Prayer.”
In a special feature, Silver Twins Megan and Morgan VonDielingen will execute a clogging routine to “Smooth Criminal.” The real-life twins from Seymour, IN, were invited to the 2004 Junior Olympics as cloggers.
“Stagedoor Spectacular” is sponsored by Purdue University Bands. American Music Review’s final concert of the season will be held on Friday, April 15, in the Long Center.