The third and final performance of N.C. Central University’s Jazz Fall Showcase will be performed at the Penn Pavilion at Duke University Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The showcase was named “Remembrance,” as a dedication for two Jazz Studies assistant professors — Arnold George and Brian Horton — who died this year. George died in May and Horton died in September.
The final performance of the showcase is a collaboration with Duke Arts and the Duke Jazz program. It will feature the NCCU Jazz Ensemble and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
“It’s going to encompass all types of jazz and all of the standards,” said NCCU Jazz Studies student, Aissa Paul. According to Paul, classics by George Gershwin and Jon Hendricks will be performed, including “I Got Rhythm,” “Our Love is here to Stay,” and “Cloudburst.”
“I think it would be a great opportunity for people to come and see what jazz is all about. Jazz was founded in America and it plays a vital role in all genres and black culture. I think it’s very important to know about the different styles of music that were invented by black people, especially at an HBCU.”
The first two performances featuring student combos were done at at B.N. Duke Auditorium on the NCCU campus.
“I encourage people to show school pride by supporting us in the shows. Jazz is important not only to the black community but to American history,” said NCCU Music Education student, Grace Brown.
“In the last 100 years, it’s been a guide to help artists continue making music. If you come and experience that, and also support your fellow peers you’ll also be experiencing American history.”
Jazz Studies at NCCU has an established reputation for excellence. It was initially offered at NCCU in 1979.
“I have experienced the NCCU jazz concerts before and they are remarkable! The students work extremely hard to prepare for the performances.” said NCCU alumna Seylon Edmundson
“This is a great opportunity for students to see what their talented peers have been working on. Although I graduated, I will always support the program.”
Numerous well-known jazz performers, including Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Kenny Burrell, the Count Basie Orchestra, Branford Marsalis, Ed Thigpen, Vanessa Rubin, Roy Hargrove, Fred Wesley, and Louis Bellson, have performed with NCCU’s jazz ensembles.
The Master of Music in Performance and Composition is also available through the Jazz Studies program. The mission of Jazz Studies is to uphold the integrity of a great art form while encouraging a high standard of education, influencing the careers of aspiring musicians, and fostering a quality education.
The concerts are free of charge and open to the public, but donations are suggested. Penn Pavilion is located at 107 Union Drive. Doors open at 7 p.m.