‘Hanging out with Stan Kenton’ and Purdue Jazz at Slayter May 2Thursday, May 19, 2011
On Sunday, May 2, Purdue’s four jazz bands will be “Hanging out with Stan Kenton,” offering music by some of the best known arrangers for the Stan Kenton Orchestra along with other tunes at its annual “Jazz on the Hill” concert.
The free outdoor concert begins at 2:30 p.m. May 2, at Slayter Center. It features the Purdue Jazz Band, American Music Repertory Ensemble, Lab Jazz Band and Concert Jazz Band. The Purdue Alumni Jazz Band will make a special guest appearance, premiering an arrangement of the jazz standard “Caravan” by Purdue alum and big band leader Chet Bauch. In case of rain, the concert will be moved indoors to Loeb Playhouse in the Purdue Stewart Center.
“Stan Kenton’s music features brass a lot. It’s very exciting and powerful and just lends itself to outdoors concerts,” says M.T. “Mo” Trout, director of jazz studies at Purdue.
“Lennie Niehaus is known best for his great arrangements of jazz standards for Kenton’s dance book and we’ll play his arrangements of ‘April in Paris,’ ‘Long Ago and Far Away,’ ‘Spring is Here,’ ‘Laura’ and ‘Day Dream’.”
Tunes by other Kenton arrangers include “Lot O’ Livin’ to Do” and “Malaguena” by Bill Holman and “A Little Minor Booze” by Willie Maiden.
The bands will also present groundbreaking arrangements by Hank Levy whose compositions explored unusual time signatures – “Time for a Change,” “Pegasus,” “Chiapas,” and “Hank’s Opener.” “These pieces are reminiscent of the music from Dave Brubeck’s great Time Out album which produced such hits as ‘Take Five’ in 5/4 time and “Blue Rondo a-la-Turk” in 9/4 time,” Trout says.
During the American Music Repertory Ensemble’s portion of the program, audiences will hear vocals sung by the likes of Anita O’Day, Jean Turner and June Christy with the Stan Kenton Orchestra
The Alumni Jazz Band boasts a large contingent of jazz men from the 1970s and early 1980s who made up some of the first jazz bands at Purdue that were offered for credit. There will also be players from the 1950s who were some of the first students involved in extracurricular jazz including Chet Bauch who lead his own big band at Purdue and later went on to teach jazz arranging and composition at The Ohio State University.
Besides the Sunday concert, the Alumni Band will hold a free public jam session from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 1, at Bruno’s Restaurant on the West Lafayette Levee.