Jazz Band Spring Concert

Date: April 23, 2013
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Heritage Center Theater, Cedar City, UT
Category: Arts and Entertainment

SUU’S Jazz Band Presents

Annual Spring Concert

With Guest Artists Reggie Thomas Trio

April 23, 2013

SUU Jazz Band in performance 2012

                                      Photo credit: SUU Jazz Band in performance 2012. Photo: Asher J. Swan                                   

Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: This is no “Minor Matter!” Southern Utah University’s Jazz Band presents their annual Spring Concert, a Music Masterworks Series concert, with guest artists Reggie Thomas, Dennis Mackrel and Rodney Whitaker! The concert is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at the Heritage Center Theater at 7:30pm. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for SUU Faculty & Staff and $4 for youth. Admission is free for SUU Students with a valid student ID.

Included on the program are hits such as “Bolivia” by Cedar Walton, arr. Eric Richards; “Day by Day” by Sammy Cahn, Alex Stordhal and Paul Weston, arr. John Clayton; “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael; Vincent Youmans’ “Tea for 2”; “A Minor Matter” and “The Gospel Truth” by Craig Fraedrich; and two arrangements by guest artist Dennis Mackrel: “Update” by McCoy Tyner and “Grew’s Tune” by Mulgrew Miller. This diverse and exciting program was designed to feature the guest artists and students in ensemble as well as solo performance.

Reginald ("Reggie") Thomas joined the MSU College of Music as professor of jazz piano in 2011. He regularly appears as a guest artist at collegiate jazz festivals around the country. He has also performed internationally in Canada, Italy, Poland, Senegal, and England. He can be seen fronting his own groups (Mardra/Reggie Thomas Ensemble; OGD) on both piano and Hammond organ and performing with other artists including Ann Hampton Callaway and the Carl Allen/Rodney Whitaker Project. His recordings include work with Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, and Clark Terry/Mike Vax, as well as his own recordings "Fade to Blue" with his wife, Mardra (MaxJazz), "Standard Time" (Victoria) and "4" (Jazz Compass). He is also a consultant/clinician for Jazz at Lincoln Center, working with the Essentially Ellington Program and the Band Director Academy.

Dennis Mackrel graduated from Clark High School in Las Vegas, Nevada and attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  In January of 1983, Dennis joined the Count Basie Orchestra on the personal recommendation of Mr. Joe Williams. He would become the youngest member of the orchestra and the last drummer to be hired by Mr. Basie personally. Dennis traveled extensively and worked alongside Mr. Basie until his death in April 1984. He continued with the orchestra under the direction of interim leader Eric Dixon followed by Thad Jones. "I think Dennis is one of the finest young drummers I've ever heard. He is extremely knowledgeable and he is also a very accomplished writer..." said Jones. Dennis is one of the few musicians who has performed with the Basie band under every leader since Mr. Basie himself and in 2010, Dennis succeeded Bill Hughes to become the leader of the Count Basie Orchestra.

Rodney Whitaker is professor of jazz double bass and director of jazz studies at the Michigan State University College of Music. Whitaker is one of the leading performers and teachers of jazz double bass in the United States. He is a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and received national recognition performing with the Terence Blanchard Quintet. Whitaker has also toured internationally as a featured performer with the Roy Hargrove Quintet. In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conferences. Featured on more than 100 recordings - from film to compact discs - Whitaker's film score, China, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS in 2002.

This once-a-year event never fails to delight! Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the collaboration between SUU’s Jazz Band and three musical greats! For more information on the SUU College of Performing and Visual Arts events, please call the Arts Hotline at (435) 865-8800, or visit

(435) 586-7872