News Item

Jazz Ensemble Prepares for ‘Diverse’ Show

December 01, 2015

 Joseph McClain
Trombonist Joseph McClain, foreground, will be among the featured performers when the Lander University Jazz Ensemble puts on its Thursday, Dec. 3 show.

GREENWOOD — When Lander University’s Jazz Ensemble performs, a variety of musical styles will usually be heard, and that will again be the case on Thursday, Dec. 3, when the group takes the stage for its fall show.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium. Admission is free.

Selections include “Speak No Evil,” Wayne Shorter’s hard bop gem; “Don’t Be That Way,” popularized by the King of Swing, Benny Goodman; “Epistrophy,” the jazz standard by Thelonious Monk; and “Rockin’ in Rhythm,” the late-career masterpiece by jazz legend Duke Ellington.

“Fun Time,” the Sammy Nestico composition performed by the Count Basie Orchestra and “Things Are Looking Up,” the George and Ira Gershwin tune made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, are also in the mix.

Lander Professor of Music Dr. Robert Gardiner, who directs the ensemble, has performed on many occasions with University of South Carolina Jazz Studies Director Bert Ligon, and his composition “Speakeasy” is also in the program, as is former USC Jazz Studies Director John Emche’s arrangement of the Matt Dennis tune, “Angel Eyes.”

For Gardiner, “variety is the spice of life,” and his musicians will also perform the Hal David/Burt Bacharach song, “The Look of Love”; “Don’t Know Why,” by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Jesse Harris; and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” by John Coots and Haven Gillespie.

Gardiner invited area music enthusiasts to hear his “up and coming jazz musicians” play “music by many of the jazz greats.”