Jazz Ensemble to perform concert

By Amy Ross

The wind is turning colder, the leaves are changing colors and fall is in the air.

This time of year not only means weather changes, it also marks the time of the NIU Jazz Ensemble’s annual fall concert.

The performance will be held at 8 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Duke Ellington Ballroom, located in the Holmes Student Center.

For the first time, Gary Foster will be joining the ensemble for the second half of the concert. Foster is a Los Angeles freelance musician who performs on the clarinet, saxophone, flute and recorder.

Foster’s work also has been used in motion picture soundtracks including Benny and Joon and Undercover Blues. He also has recorded with jazz groups led by artists such as Clare Fischer and Cal Tjader.

Ron Modell, director of the NIU Jazz Ensemble, said Foster is very aware of the NIU Jazz Ensemble and was very delighted to be asked to perform with them.

“This also gives him the opportunity to play real music, not like in recording studios where they give you the music to play. This concert will allow him to be very versatile in his playing,” Modell said.

In addition to Foster, there will also be another first for the ensemble—the introduction of Cheryl Porter as the ensemble’s new vocalist. She will perform in the first half of the concert.

Modell recommends people come early to the concert, since there is usually a large turnout.

“The campus waits each year for the fall and spring concerts because those are the only times each semester that we are here on campus, since we are touring 35 other places throughout the year,” Modell said.

Modell said there also will be some new student arrangements as well as the usual variety of big band jazz classics.

Some of the selections include the Count Basie-Neal Hefti classic “Whirlybird,” as well as an arrangement of Miles Davis’s “Hannibal” by jazz ensemble drummer Tom Hipskind.

“Besides being claimed as the greatest college band in the country, it is nice for students to be able to watch their colleagues perform in a manner which displays them in the highest professional level,” Modell said.

The performance is free. For more information call 753-1762.