Jazz Concert

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When: 11/16/2012, 7:30 pm

Location: Performing Arts Center


A free jazz concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, in the PAC’s main performance hall.

Music aficionados will be treated to a medley of arrangements by Mic Gillette as well as classic soul hits from Tower of Power when the Thursday Night Band and the Bayou Big Band host Jazz @ Lee College.

“Jazz @ Lee College is a semi-annual concert hosted by the Thursday Night Band, formerly the Lee College Jazz Ensemble, and the Bayou Big Band,” explained Dr. Ken Booker, director of instrumental music at Lee College, and conductor of the Thursday Night Band, a credit course dedicated to the performance of “big band” music.

“These joint concerts actually began more than 10 years ago,” Dr. Booker continued. “At that time, my colleague, Dennis Eichler, was serving as director of both the Lee College Jazz Ensemble and the Bayou Big Band, and had established a series of on-campus concerts. When I took over the ensemble, I was happy to carry on the tradition.”

Each year the groups host two major concerts highlighting jazz specialists and well-known soloists. The Nov. 16 concert will feature a special performance by renowned trumpeter Mic Gillette.

A distinguished performer, recording artist, educator, and music advocate, Gillette’s five-decade career includes horns work with Cold Blood, Tower of Power and Sons of Champlin. Additionally, he has been featured on countless albums for artists including Santana, The Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, the Doobie Brothers, Quincy Jones, Rod Stewart, Elton John, and others.

As an educator, Gillette established “Music in Schools,” a program dedicated to helping struggling music programs nationwide keep their doors open, and continues to teach, record, arrange and perform in his home state of California.

“Dennis has always made an effort to secure jazz artists with national stature for each of our fall concerts,” Dr. Booker continued. “Additionally, we have been very fortunate over the years to have the support of Mike Spletter and the Campus Activities Board. Without the efforts of these two men, we would not be able to bring these great artists to our campus.

“As for Mic Gillette, he’s simply a spectacular player,” Dr. Booker continued. “Many of us became familiar with his work through Tower of Power, and since then he has developed a reputation as one of the best in the business, who is also known for his outreach to students. We are truly looking forward to having him here, not only to hear him play, but to offer our students an opportunity to work with an artist who has been ‘in the business’ for decades.”