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Jazz Extravaganza XVIII 

March 31, 2017

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and to honor this historical and culturally rich art form our Drexel Jazz Orchestra will perform a dual-concert with Howard University's Jazz Ensemble at Drexel's annual Jazz Extravaganza.

Now in it's 18th year of being lead by Dr. George Starks, this evening features inventive renditions of Jazz classics, bringing some of Philadelphia's best Jazz performers to the Mandell Theater. Drexel's Jazztet, a select group from the members of the Jazz Orchestra which includes Music Industry students Will Schade, Daniel Siper, and Craig VanRemoortel, Angus Jabbour, Rhys Evans and Ian Norris as well as Game Design & Production student, Erin Truesdell, will open the concert. With thoughts of spring, both Drexel and Howard will perform their own adaptations of Horace Silver's Doodlin'!. Drexel's full ensemble will present a compilation of Duke Ellington emotive favorites on the sentimental side with Star Crossed Lovers (written and inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet), I Got it Bad, That Ain't Good (broken hearts), and Solitude. Throughout the evening, listen for concert highlights from soloists Will Schade on tenor sax, Daniel Pearlman on piano, Alex Webber on bass, Daniel Sipher on drums, Kenneth Powell on the clarinet and Kara Delucia, an Entertainment and Arts Management student, as the vocalist on I Got it Bad and Solitude. "Jazz is one of those musics where you might have one person on the part, but every single person is important," Dr. Starks stated.

Dr. Starks introduced the Jazz Extravaganza initially between Spelman College, a historically black liberal arts college, and Drexel's Jazz Ensemble after Dr. Starks took a leave of absence to teach there. After 15 years of sharing the stage with Spelman, Starks began partnering with Howard University to celebrate Jazz Appreciate Month. Howard has turned out a slew of influential jazz musicians including Jerri Allen, Greg Osby, and Philadelphia's own Benny Golson and Wallace Roney.

The Drexel University Instrumental Jazz Ensembles consist of three groups: the Jazz Orchestra, the Jazztet and the Saxtet, and acceptance into all three groups is by audition only. Trumpeters, trombonists, saxophonists, pianists, bassists, guitarists, drummers, vocalists, and other musicians who have sufficient technical proficiency are encouraged to apply. The ability to improvise is a plus, but not a necessity.

The Jazz Orchestra performs at least one time per quarter during regularly scheduled concerts and occasional additional performances both on and off campus. The Jazztet is a small group ranging in size from five to eight musicians. This ensemble performs small group masterpieces such as literature associated with Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, among others. The Saxtet is a small ensemble made up of saxophones, usually in a quartet configuration. The Saxtet performs music in a wide variety of styles, including spirituals, blues, ragtime, and jazz.

Performance Scholarships are available for the Jazz Orchestra. Auditions are normally held during Accepted Students Weekends in April, but may be arranged at any time by contacting director George Starks at

Fri., April 14 // 7PM // Mandell Theater // Free & open to the public