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University Jazz Ensemble Primed for Final Show

Steven Galloway, Kelly Hammond and Evan Boney
Senior music majors Steven Galloway, left, Kelly Hammond and Evan Boney have made major contributions to the rhythm section of Lander University's Jazz Ensemble.

The final concert of the season by Lander University's Jazz Ensemble on Thursday, April 14, will be a study in contrasts.

Brassy numbers like Kris Berg's "Fowl Play," "Cold Duck Time," by Eddie Harris and Joe Garland's "Leap Frog" will alternate with more introspective pieces, like "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars," by Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, "The Creole Love Song," by jazz great Duke Ellington, and "Django," John Lewis's tribute to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Jazzy versions of the Beatles' "Blackbird" and "Man in the Mirror," recorded by Michael Jackson, are also in the mix, as are the samba-influenced "North Africa," by composer and keyboardist Chick Corea; "Sway," the mambo by Mexican composer Pablo Beltran Ruiz made famous by Dean Martin; and the swing tune "Beyond the Sea," popularized by Bobby Darin.

It will be the final performance with the ensemble for Lander seniors Kelly Hammond of Greenwood, who plays piano; Evan Boney of Greenwood, who plays guitar; and Steven Galloway of Anderson, who plays drums.

Lander associate professor of music Dr. Robert Gardiner, who leads the ensemble, expressed gratitude to the three for their contributions. He called Hammond "one of the most solid students I've had since I've been here. She's always prepared and always sounds good."

Boney "is also a strong musician," Gardiner said. "He's very confident. He's got a lot of personality in his playing."

Galloway plays saxophone with Lander's Wind Ensemble. "Steven is a very natural musician. The fact that he was able to switch over to drums makes the whole band sound better," Gardiner said.

The Lander educator, who recently released a CD of original jazz with his other band, the Robert Gardiner Quartet, believes that the last performance of the year by his Lander musicians will be "a concert that's interesting for us to play and interesting for an audience to listen to."

The show, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. in Lander's Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, is free and open to the public. For information, contact the College of Arts and Humanities at 864-388-8323.​