Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Music presents its Gala Festival Concert as a part of the Jazz Series Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast’s River Campus.
The concert will feature composer, arranger and jazz saxophonist Mike Tomaro. Also featured will be Southeast’s Studio Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Jefferson, Southeast professor of music and director of jazz studies. Audiences will be regaled with original compositions and arrangements by Tomaro, Jeff Jarvis and Jeff Taylor.
Tomaro is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator. He is the director of the Jazz Studies Program at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He is the co-artistic director and lead alto player of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, the city’s premier big band, where he composes and arranges most of the material that group performs. In 2015, the band released its first CD, “Joyful Jazz,” on the MCG Jazz label; and the album contains 11 arrangements by Tomaro. It has garnered rave reviews including a four-star rating in Downbeat magazine and was selected as one of the top seven holiday albums of 2015 by the Wall Street Journal.
Tomaro has worked with such diverse artists and groups as Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Michael Feinstein, Linda Ronstadt, Debby Boone, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Bergeron, Terence Blanchard, Louis Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Dizzy Gillespie Tribute Big Band, Woody Herman Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, where he is featured on their DVD, “Live at MCG.” He has also performed with guitarist Joe Negri, Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy Band, Pittsburgh Symphony, River City Brass Band, Pittsburgh Ballet and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble in addition to leading his own small group ensembles. Prior to his appointment at Duquesne, he was a member of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, a unit of the prestigious “Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Band for 17 years.
The Jazz Lab Band, comprised of both music and non-music majors, will be playing “Hard Bargain,” “Saturday Morning Blues,” “Salsa Nueva” and “HONK.”
The concert will close with the Studio Jazz Ensemble, performing Armando’s “Rhumba,” “Confirmation,” “Del Corazon,” “Four on Six,” “Samba Para Minha,” “Seven Steps To Heaven,” “Speak Low” and “High Ground.”
Student soloists include Max Jansen of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on alto sax; Booker Grass of Antioch, Illinois, on drums; Brea Sloan of Marble Hill, Missouri, on trumpet; Ben Abernathy of Columbia, Missouri, on trumpet; Jackie Lincoln of Bonne Terre, Missouri, on trumpet; and Matthew Regalado of St. Louis, Missouri, on tenor sax.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampus.org.