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Seacoast Big Band Presents Harry Jones Memorial Concert Jan. 20

January 14, 2009

The annual Harry Jones Memorial Concert, a longstanding Seacoast jazz tradition presented by the Seacoast Big Band, will take place Tuesday, Jan. 20, featuring tributes to legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and big band arranger Bob Florence, both of whom died in 2008.

The band, directed by Dave Seiler, director of jazz studies at UNH, will also play arrangements associated with the Count Basie Orchestra and the Tonight Show Band.

Ferguson became well known in the early 1950s, primarily for his high note virtuosity with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. For more than 50 years, he led many top-notch small groups and big bands featuring music by leading jazz arrangers. He also made dozens of best selling record albums.

The Seacoast Big Band has chosen arrangements done for Ferguson by Slide Hampton, Bill Holman and Willie Maiden.

For 50 years, Florence composed and arranged for many top orchestras including Harry James, Buddy Rich, Count Basie and Stan Kenton. He also fronted his own band and featured many of the West Coast’s best jazz musicians. Band members had great respect for Florence’s musical acumen and exquisite arrangements, and stayed with his band for years.

The Seacoast Big Band will feature three Florence compositions.

Seiler has selected three swinging arrangements associated with the Count Basie Orchestra, pieces by longtime Basie tenor player Frank Foster, by Neil Hefti (of “Theme from Batman” fame) and by New England Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Nat Pierce. Seiler has also chosen charts done by the late Tommy Newsom, chief arranger for the Tonight Show Band, a congregation led by Doc Severinson on Johnny Carson’s late night talk show.  

The concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Johnson Theatre, Paul Creative Arts Center. Tickets are $8; $6 for students and seniors, and are available at the MUB Ticket Office, online at http://www.unh.edu/mub/ or at the door one hour prior to the concert. For more information call 2-2290.

The Harry Jones Memorial Concert is co-sponsored by the music department and the New Hampshire Library of Traditional Jazz. The library, established in 1978 by Dorothy Prescott, comprises books, recordings, and memorabilia and is housed at the Dimond Library.  Prescott's generous endowment funds its activities including the Traditional Jazz Series concerts.

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