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The Blue Lion to Host Jazz Ensembles May 2

The Blue Lion to Host Jazz Ensembles May 2(Posted: April 8, 2014)

Student members of the Jazz Band and the Jazz Catz vocal group at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith are performing a repertoire of jazz selections May 2 during Jazz Night, their final show of the spring 2014 semester.

This annual free event will be held at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown, 101 N. 2nd Street.

Directed by Dr. Matt Vangjel of Fort Smith, assistant professor of music (high brass), the Jazz Band will perform an assortment of jazz selections in styles ranging from gospel to the traditional jazz favorites.

"Jazz Night is my favorite concert because the students choose the tunes we play," said Vangjel. "They pick some of their favorites from earlier in the semester, and we do some new stuff as well. It's a great way to end the year."

Don Bailey of Fort Smith, director of jazz studies, will direct the Jazz Catz.

"The Catz will perform a wide variety of hit songs, from swing to pop, Latin to classic rock, and more," Bailey said.

"Lullaby of Birdland" (Ella Fitzgerald), "Imagine" (John Lennon), "Nice 'n' Easy" (Frank Sinatra) and "Somebody to Love" (Queen) are a few of the selections the group will perform.

"In addition, the Catz will be featuring a few vocal solos and duets," Bailey added.

Both directors said they like the off-campus venue of The Blue Lion for Jazz Night.

"We always enjoy performing at The Blue Lion," Bailey said. "It's a great venue, and it brings our show into the heart of downtown Fort Smith."

"The Blue Lion is a great place for us to play," said Vangjel. "The atmosphere is intimate, laid back and fun. What could be more perfect for a jazz concert?"

For more info about Jazz Night, contact Vangjel at 479-788-7538 or Bailey at 479-788-7554.

Article by: Linda Boyd, Administrative Specialist, Music Department

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