Southern jazz musicians swing into spring season


Brad Stout/The Chart

Members of the Southern Jazz Orchestra play their final concert with seven-year orchestra director Jeffrey Macomber, professor of music, during the SJO Swingin’ Holiday Show held in Corley Auditorium Dec. 3.

Southern Jazz is preparing for a bustling month ahead. With three major performances this month, the halls of the Fine Arts Complex will be filled with notes of jazz and swing.

The Southern Jazz Combo’s Concert takes place on Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. Three student jazz combos will perform jazz standards while focusing on the art of improvisation. This performance will be in Corley Auditorium.

Next, Gusano’s Chicago Style Pizzeria will open its doors for Southern’s jazz combos for a night of Pizza & Jazz. This will be live on Friday, April 18, at 6 p.m. The event has sold out for the past three years, so organizers recommend reservations.

A Southern Jazz Orchestra concert will wrap up the month of April with a performance in Corley Auditorium Tuesday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. The orchestra is a 19-piece big band that will feature as guest soloist MSSU alum and professional jazz saxophonist Wesley Smith.

Juniors Matthew Clark and Jaron David are busy practicing for the upcoming performances. Clark is a cello, guitar and bass guitar student while David is on the drum set or a percussionist.

“It’s a way of life,” David said. “We’re trying to keep jazz alive. We want to bring it to the smaller communities.”