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KSC Jazz Ensemble Performs Big Band Favorites

KEENE, N.H. 11/13/03 - The Keene State College Jazz Ensemble will perform a big band theme concert on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. Tickets are $7 for the general public and $5 for KSC faculty, staff, and students; senior citizens; and youth age 17 or younger. Call the box office at 603-358-2168.

Keene State artist-in-residence Don Baldini will direct the Jazz Ensemble through a program of the big band themes of Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Glenn Miller, and many others.

Jazz and swing became popular dance beats during the big band era from 1935 to 1945, when two of the greatest big bands were formed by Benny Goodman, a clarinetist and radio musician from Chicago, and William “Count ” Basie, who started his career in radio in Kansas City. The Goodman and Basie bands, consisting of 14 and 15 musicians respectively, were representative of all the big bands, which used a slower beat than the small jazz combos and strove for an intense energy that was danceable.

In addition to conducting the Jazz Ensemble, Baldini directs the KSC Chamber Orchestra. He came to Keene State after a professional career as a studio musician in Los Angeles. He appeared for 13 years with the Tonight Show Orchestra and toured with Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Peggy Lee, and the Harry James and Toshiko-Akyoshi/Lew Tabakin bands. He currently performs with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Dartmouth Symphony, Opera North, the Keene Chamber Orchestra, and several local chamber music and jazz groups.

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