UA Jazz Lab Ensemble Completes Successful Tour With Big Win

From left to right: Dr. Rick Salonen (director), Hunter Carmical, Cas Harvey, Chris Walterscheid, Zach Hester, Don Mayall, Van Powell, Felipe Antonio, and Mitch Norris
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From left to right: Dr. Rick Salonen (director), Hunter Carmical, Cas Harvey, Chris Walterscheid, Zach Hester, Don Mayall, Van Powell, Felipe Antonio, and Mitch Norris

This semester has been huge for UA Jazz. Programming continues to build with an excited faculty and the UA Jazz Lab Ensemble found huge success in their April tour. The ensemble, under the direction of Rick Salonen, traveled from Fayetteville to Vicksburg, Mississippi, to New Orleans, Louisiana, and back. Eighteen students made the trip and had a great showing throughout the tour.

In Vicksburg, the ensemble competed in the 38th Alcorn State University Jazz Festival. After a day of performances and workshops, the UA Jazz Lab Ensemble was awarded Outstanding University Jazz Ensemble at the festival. Additionally, UAMusic student Don Mayall (drumset) was awarded Outstanding University Soloist. 

For over three and a half decades the Department of Fine Arts at Alcorn State University has sponsored what has become Mississippi's longest-running and most prestigious jazz festival. The day-long festival features performances by some of the most outstanding professional jazz musicians and university, college, and secondary school jazz ensembles from throughout the United States. Highlights of the festival are the afternoon workshops and evening concerts by some of the world's greatest jazz artists. The 2018 festival featured legendary jazz musicians, Chick Corea. 

After the festival, the ensemble traveled to New Orleans to perform at the "Fleur-De-Lindy Exchange," a part of the Lindy Hop Dancing convention. The group was well-received by the convention goers and gave great exposure for the UA Jazz program in such a historic location.

The Department could not be more proud of the ensemble's performance during this long tour. Salonen is now preparing a four-musician student combo for a two-day Music75 tour this summer hitting seven counties with seven performances. The combo will visit Sevier, Nevada, Hempstead, Miller, Little River, Polk, and Scott Counties bringing the total Music75 count to 37!


Justin R. Hunter, administrative specialist III
Department of Music


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