Four Jazz Ensembles will present annual “Swing into Spring” April 9

By Dr. Todd Hill | Apr 4, 2024

Jazz Orchestra

Lovett Auditorium will host four Murray State University Jazz Ensembles for “Swing into Spring 2024” at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9

MURRAY, Ky. – Lovett Auditorium will host four Murray State University Jazz Ensembles for “Swing into Spring 2024” at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

The concerts are free and open to the public. The groups are directed by Dr. Todd E. Hill, professor of music and director of jazz studies at Murray State.

At 6 p.m., the Gold & Blue Jazz Combos will focus on small group style and feature improvisation. Selections for the Gold Combo will include Miles Davis’s “So What,” John Coltrane’s “Blue Train,” Benny Golson’s “Killer Joe” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia.”

The Gold Combo includes Damian Merrell of Nortonville, Kentucky, on trumpet; Colton Vaught of Hartford, Kentucky, on alto saxophone; Allison Dennison of Harrisburg, Illinois, on tenor sax; Noah Baker of Mayfield, Kentucky on baritone sax; Abbie Tompkins of Madisonville, Kentucky, on piano; Cody Trimmel of Gilbertsville, Kentucky, on guitar; Norah Lucas of Louisville, Kentucky, on bass; and Austen Kozuszek of Ashley, Illinois, on drums.

The Blue Combo will perform Jerome Kern’s “All the Things You Are,” Lennon and McCartney’s “Norwegian Wood,” Antonio Carolos Jobim’s “Girl from Ipanema,” Lee Morgan’s “Ceora” and Roy Hargrove’s “Strasbourg/St. Denis.” The Blue Combo is made up of Bek Schmidt of Memphis, Tennessee, on trumpet; Gavin Jones of Benton, Kentucky, on alto sax; Declan Bingham of Paducah, Kentucky, on tenor sax; Nick Mehne of Evansville, Indiana, on baritone sax; Amberly Tilford of Paducah, Kentucky, on piano; John Sowers of Lancaster, Kentucky, on guitar; Sean Howell of Mayfield, Kentucky on bass; and Elijah Vowels of Henderson, Kentucky, on drums.

The Murray State Jazz Band and the award-winning Murray State Jazz Orchestra will take the stage to open the big band portion of the program beginning at 7:30 p.m. The jazz orchestra, having performed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference in Louisville earlier this semester will perform an opening and closing set with the jazz band in between. The jazz orchestra’s first set will be the Latin jazz standard “Brazil,” Gordon Goodwin’s “It’s Not Polite to Point,” a feature for the trombone section, “Together Houses,” a beautiful ballad by Vince Norman and Wayne Shorter’s “Yes or No.”

The Jazz Band will perform next, presenting five highly varied classics for their program: “Aquarius-Let the Sunshine In,” “Waterloo Blooz” and lovely Bossa Nova “Contessa” by Lennie Niehaus, Billy Strahorn and Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll,” and will close with the Louis Prima/Keely Smith version of “Just a Gigolo” and “I Ain’t Got Nobody” in medley form.

The Jazz Orchestra will return to the stage with four more classics: Wayne Shorter’s “Yes or No,” Hank Levy’s composition “Decoupage,” which was recorded by Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman’s classic “Sing, Sing, Sing” and Yoko Kano’s “Tank” from Cowboy Bebop.

The Jazz Band consists of 21 students and includes saxophonists Ethan Sexton of Evansville, Indiana; Hannah Nix of Almo, Kentucky; Cooper Barnett of Evansville; Sarah Call of Salem, Indiana; and Sam LeMarble of Lexington, Kentucky. On trumpets are Trent Browne of Nashville, Illinois; Austen Kozusek of Ashley, Illinois; Kaitlyn Microsh of Horn Lake, Mississippi; Tim Hanley of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Damian Merrell of Nortonsville, Kentucky. On trombones are Payne DeHaven of Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Richard Ramirez of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Will Sheffer of Paducah, Kentucky; Benjamin Arvin of Crestwood, Kentucky; and Nathan Kasitz of Louisville, Kentucky. The rhythm section is comprised of Frank Newton of Owensboro, Kentucky on piano; Cody Trimmel of Gilbertsville, Kentucky, on guitar; Noah Siegfried of New Baden, Illinois, on bass; Lily Cohoon of Boonville, Indiana, on drums and vibes; John Cinotto of Shelbyville, Kentucky, on drums; and Devin Owens of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on drums.

The Jazz Orchestra consists of 20 musicians and includes saxophonists Jake Glatczak of Bonne Terre, Missouri; Declan Bingham of Paducah, Kentucky; Nicholas Mehne of Evansville, Indiana; Gavin Jones of Benton, Kentucky; and Cammy Pillow of Evansville, Indiana. On trumpets are Max Welch of Evansville, Indiana; Ryn Jenkins of Murray, Kentucky; Bek Schmidt of Memphis, Tennessee; Zack Mitchell of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Alyssa Shrader of Sonora, Kentucky. On trombones are Dillon Smith and Jeremiah Morris of Murray, Kentucky; Joey Noble of Maryland Heights, Missouri; and Shelby Starks of Benton, Kentucky. Rhythm players are Abbie Tompkins of Madisonville, Kentucky, on piano; Zhou Merchant of Bagdad, Kentucky, on vines and Latin percussion; Preston Frensley of Mayfield, Kentucky, on guitar; Sean Shelton of Murray, Kentucky, on bass; and drummer/percussionists Nelson Youngblood IV of Union City, Tennessee, and Evan Carlton of Madisonville, Kentucky.

Take the next step

© Murray State University Department of Web ManagementWe are Racers.