Thursday, December 02, 2010

Saint Mary’s jazz, percussion groups to perform Dec. 10

WINONA, Minn. — The 18-piece Saint Mary’s University Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo I and World Drum Ensemble will combine for an evening of hot jazz to melt away the chill of the season 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, in SMU’s Page Theatre.

Both jazz groups are directed by professor of music Dr. John Paulson, and the World Drum Ensemble is directed by SMU alumnus and adjunct music instructor Denny McGuire. The featured guest soloist for the concert will be guitarist Chris White from Appleton, Wis. The big band will play a swing-oriented set and a Latin set, along with players from the World Drum Ensemble.

The first set will include the great standard “Old Devil Moon,” arranged by Dave Wolpe; Jerome Richardson’s “Groove Merchant,” featuring the sax section; “Passion Flower” by Billy Strayhorn, with Tommy Quinn of Cannon Falls featured on alto sax; and “Blues ’n More” by Mike Steinel, which includes a small combo within the big band playing some super fast bebop blues. Also planned for the first set is a world premiere of a new arrangement by Paulson, which is a medley of three previous compositions “Cloud Theory,” “Sum Blues,” and “Cafe Renoir.”

Highlights from the Latin set will include John Coltrane’s “Naima,” arranged by Craig Skeffington, done in a Latin style; Dizzy Gillespie’s hit “Manteca;” a new chart by Mike Carubia called “Hablemos;” “Maputo,” a smooth jazz-groove tune by Marcus Miller; and the well-know hit from Woodstock by Carlos Santana “Soul Sacrifice,” arranged by Michael Phillip Mossman which will showcase the skills of White on guitar and combine the jazz ensemble with support from the World Drum Ensemble.

The jazz ensemble will also be selling their first CD release “Staycation” at the performance.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at For more information, contact Dr. John Paulson at (507) 457-1596 or