Southern Jazz Combo to perform at Gusano’s


Robin Fjelstad | The Chart

Gusano’s Pizza hosted Jazz and Pizza, Nov. 14, featuring the Missouri Southern Jazz Combos. Members of the Thursday 3:30 combo help entertain the diners and jazz fans who came out Friday night to enjoy the show. Front row left to right: Tyler Jones, trumpet; Sam Forcum, trombone; Kyle Babbitt, saxophone, back row left to right: Matthew Clark, bass; Matt Holland, drum set; Trey Shannon, guitar.

On Friday, April 17, Missouri Southern State University’s jazz band will perform at Gusano’s Pizza at 6 p.m.

“We want to do new literature and new music every single semester and that really sort of builds repertoire for all the students so they understand more of the jazz repertoire and more of the jazz standards,” said Dr. Phillip Wise, director of jazz studies.

The jazz band has been preparing for this performance since the beginning of the semester. Three separate combo groups will perform. Some of the pieces will be accompanied by two female vocalists.

“There are three combos, each are roughly six members each,” Wise said. “They vary a little in instrumentation; each combo is going to have a drummer, a bass player, a piano player and then there will be variations of other instruments.”

According to Wise, all the concerts performed at Gusano’s have been standing room only, so a good turnout is expected.

“It’s almost electricity at Gusano’s,” he said. “The mix of jazz and pizza is really just a great feel and great atmosphere. People are very relaxed and feel comfortable to visit a little bit while we’re performing. It’s just the whole excitement to see the students excited in a venue that’s not so formal.”

There is no admission fee but reservations must be made. This performance will only be held at Gusano’s and not on campus.

“If you have never been to a jazz performance, you should give it a try,” Wise said. “It may not be your music of choice, but it’s a great evening out to enjoy the pizza and enjoy the atmosphere, and you never know, you might enjoy the music too.”