“Jazz: From New Orleans to the Heart of America” was the theme of a free concert and lecture on the campus of Alamance Community College on January 24 that included dynamic performances by the Alamance Jazz Band and the U.S. Marine Jazz Combo from Camp Lejeune.
Prior to the jazz concerts, a Louisiana-style Cajun buffet was prepared by the College’s Culinary Arts students, and later audience members were treated to two scholarly presentations on the historical roots of jazz music in New Orleans.
“The Development of Jazz in New Orleans up to the Swing Era” was presented by Dr. Roger Lane, Humanities and music instructor at Alamance Community College. Dr. Lane has a Master of Arts in Music and a Ph.D. in Music, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
“Jazz Styles from the Swing Era to the Present” was presented by Dr. Stephen Anderson, a critically acclaimed composer and pianist whose works have been performed by ensembles throughout the U.S. Dr. Anderson is Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina and is Director of the UNC Summer Jazz Workshop.
The Alamance Jazz Band, organized in 1987, is comprised of area musicians who regularly provide organized programs for those interested in learning, performing, and enjoying music of the big band idiom. The band’s repertoire consists of swing era hits of the 1930s and 40s, jazz standards, contemporary arrangements and compositions for big bands, and even a few selections of beach music and rock. It rehearses most every Thursday evening at the city of Burlington’s Broad Street Center.
The U.S. Marine Jazz Combo is a 5-piece group stationed with the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, NC. The ensemble has performed at various official military formal events as well as internationally in France and Colombia. Staff Sgt John Hall is the Combo’s musical director.
Special guests also included singer Bobbi Ruffin, accompanied by pianist Bennett Yancey. Both work in the College’s Academic and Career Readiness Program.
ACC humanities instructor Dr. Roger Lane coordinated the jazz festival.
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