Jazz Sultans to Perform Feb. 6 with Guest Artist Brad Leali


Brad Leali

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 30, 2014 – The Southeast Missouri State University Department of Music faculty jazz combo, the Jazz Sultans, will return to the stage to offer a jazz performance with Brad Leali, special guest artist for the Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival, Feb. 6 at the River Campus.

The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

“The sound quality in Shuck Recital is going to be fantastic,” Conger said. “The Sultans have featured our guest artist from the jazz festival every February since 2008, and we always have a big crowd of excited listeners.”

The jazz quintet has been together since 2006 and performs small group jazz at its finest with a diverse collection of tunes from Freddie Hubbard to Sonny Rollins to Dizzy Gillespie. The group is composed of Southeast faculty members, including Matt Yount on piano, Robert Conger on trombone, Jay Contrino on drums and Southeast alumnus Sam Godwin on bass.

The guest artist for this acclaimed event will be world renowned saxophonist Leali. He was lead alto saxophonist for the Harry Connick Orchestra, played with the Count Basie Orchestra and was a staple in legendary New York jazz venues like the Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Iridium and Birdland. He has also performed in Lincoln Center in the orchestras of jazz legends Nancy Wilson and Benny Golson. His numerous television appearances include The Today Show, The Tonight Show, Arsenio Hall, BET and the Harry Connick Jr. Christmas Special.

Most recently, Leali performed at President Barack Obama’s 2008 inaugural, backing up artists such as Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Mary J. Blige and Herbie Hancock. Other artists with whom he has played include Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, Joe Williams, Jimmy Cobb, Frank Foster, Jon Hendricks, Roy Hargrove, The Mingus Big Band, Jack McDuff, George Duke, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Smith, Robert Downey, Jr., Fantasia, Billy Joel, Kid Rock, Yolanda Adams and Brian McKnight.

He is in Cape Girardeau to appear at the jazz festival with the Southeast jazz bands on Friday, Feb. 7.

Southeast Jazz Friends are funding this performance. For further information, please contact Robert Conger at (573) 651-2398.