Thursday, March 28, 2013

SMU jazz groups to present jazz history performance

WINONA, Minn. — As part of Saint Mary’s yearlong Centennial celebration, the SMU Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo One will present “Jazztennial - 100 Years of Jazz History” on Thursday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Page Theatre with an encore presentation Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. in the Slaggie Family Lobby of the Winona County History Center.

The performance will trace the development of jazz throughout the 20th century, from the early beginnings to exciting contemporary explorations. A special tribute to the “Marinotes,” the Saint Mary’s “Big Band” that toured and performed dances throughout the upper Midwest in the late 1950s, will be one of many featured attractions.

A pre-concert performance will include a performance by Les Fields and the Turkey River All-Stars. Inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2005, the Turkeys have performed traditional Dixieland jazz for more than 40 years, including appearances in New Orleans and on the Delta and Mississippi Queen riverboats.

According to music director A. Eric Heukeshoven, the hardest part of planning this performance was deciding what not to include. Early years in jazz will be represented by the likes of Duke Ellington and Lester Young. The Big Band Era – saluting the Marinotes – will focus on music from the Glenn Miller Orchestra and highlight SMU freshman Gabriel Verges singing an early Frank Sinatra hit, “You Make Me Feel So Young.” Moving into the middle of the last century, selections by legendary jazz composers the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Miles Davis will be performed by both Jazz Combo One and Jazz Ensemble. Rounding out the evening will be contemporary selections including the funk-inspired 1974 hit, “Pick Up the Pieces,” “Chronometry” by Lawrence University composer/educator Fred Sturm, and the Charles Mingus raucous original, “Moanin.’ ”

Tickets for the Page Theatre performance on April 11 are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students. Call the SMU Box Office at Ext. 1715 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or order online at

The April 18 encore at the Winona County History Center is free and open to the public. Donations will be gratefully accepted at the door.

For more information, contact Heukeshoven at 457-7292 or