Jazz Series Presents Gala Festival Concert with Guest Artist Jazz Pianist Reggie Thomas


JazzCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 30, 2013 — Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Music will present its second concert of the 2013 Jazz Series Feb. 8 featuring Reggie Thomas, jazz pianist on the faculty of Michigan State University.

The performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast’s River Campus. The concert will include music for the big band, which traditionally includes saxophones, trumpets, trombones and rhythm section.

Reggie Thomas, piano

Reginald (“Reggie”) Thomas joined the Michigan State University College of Music as professor of jazz (piano) in 2011 after nearly 20 years as professor of music at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He regularly appears as a guest artist at collegiate jazz festivals around the country, including those hosted by Lawrence University, the University of South Florida and Texas Tech University. He also has 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. He has served on several summer jazz faculties across the country and abroad including the International Association for Jazz Education Teacher Training Institute, the Birch Creek Music Center, the Eastman School of Music Summer Jazz Camp, the Summer Jazz Academy in Chodziez, Poland, and, most recently, the Barbican Center in London.

Studio Jazz Ensemble

Sam Blackwell reviewed this ensemble in the Southeast Missourian after an October 2009 concert and remarked that “the Studio Jazz Band …simply astonished!”. This band will take the stage performing selections, including “Basie’s Buddy B and Whiteout,” which is an original composition for jazz big band by Trevor Smith, a junior music major. With Thomas, they will perform the standards “Stardust, Just in Time” and “Driftin’” as well as another N’Orleans-inspired feature entitled “Hullabaloo” by Alan Baylock, the chief arranger for the “Airmen of Note,” the official jazz band of the United States Air Force. Many students will be featured including Steven Watkins on tenor sax, Matt Gates on trombone, Ethan Flood on flute/alto sax and Trevor Smith on alto sax.

Jazz Lab Band

Also performing at the concert will be the Southeast University’s Jazz Lab Band which will also perform with Thomas as soloist. Their program will include “Blue Note Special” and the Dizzy Gillespie classic jazz standard “Salt Peanuts.” This ensemble will also feature some very talented students as soloists, including Sam Harris on alto sax, JR Davis on tenor sax, Adam Devine on trombone and Sean Kenney on drumset. Thomas will join them on the jazz standard, “Taking a Chance on Love.” This band is comprised of both music and non-music majors and will play a variety of jazz compositions.


Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651–2265. Tickets also may be purchased online at RiverCampusEvents.com.