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Bethel jazz alumnus Jackson to join groups for Jazz on the Green

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The annual end-of-the-school-year concert on the Green at Bethel College draws another busy spring for Bethel jazz groups to a close.

Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I will be joined by Bethel jazz alumnus and North Newton native Brett Jackson, who has been making a name for himself in Kansas City jazz circles.

The event starts at 8 p.m. May 11 with the audience invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets for outdoor seating (the concert will move to Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center if the weather is unfavorable).

Jazz on the Green is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support jazz study and performance at Bethel College.

Jazz I traveled to the University of Northern Colorado/Greeley Jazz Festival April 23.

April 1, guest artist Pat Bianchi and his Hammond B-3 organ joined the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble, an auditioned honors high school group, and Jazz I for a concert in Krehbiel Auditorium.

Bethel College Jazz Ensemble II and both Jazz Combos played to a packed house in Mojo’s on March 14.

Jazz II will open the May 11 Jazz on the Green concert with “Strike Up the Band” by George and Ira Gershwin (arranged by Sammy Nestico); “Across the Track Blues” by Duke Ellington; “Invitation” by Paul Webster and Bronislau Kaper (arranged by Frank Mantooth); “Boplicity” by Miles Davis (arranged by Mike Tomaro); “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” by Bob Hillard and David Mann (arranged by Billy Byers); and “September” by Maurice White, Al McKay and Allee Willis (arranged by Mark Taylor).

Personnel are: saxophones, Jacob Anderson, Newton, Aaron Long, Wichita, Alona Crigger, Melbourne Beach, Florida, Jesus Martinez, Newton, Ryan Fritz, Salina, and Reece Hiebert, Walton; trumpets, Gabe Johnson, Abilene, Alec Loganbill, Hesston, Isaac Dunn, Fresno, California, and Abby Phillips, Maple Hill; trombones, Ben Carlson, Hurley, South Dakota, Nate Kroeker, Augusta, Seth Larson, Wichita, and Zane McHugh, Wichita; bass, Eli Brockway, McPherson; piano, Mika Patron, North Newton; and drums, Adam Kauth, Iola, and Charles Lenley, Kansas City, Missouri.

In addition to welcoming Jackson (a saxophonist) as a guest, Jazz Ensemble I’s program will include Jill Siebert, Topeka, on vocals, as well as French horn players Rebecca Schrag, Newton, and Abby Phillips.

Siebert joins the group for “Embraceable You” by George and Ira Gershwin (arranged by Chip McNeill) and “When the Sun Comes Out” by Harold Arlen (arranged by Tom Garling).

The rest of Jazz I’s set list is “Mean What You Say” by Thad Jones, “Sing Sing Sing” by Louis Prima, “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise” by Sigmund Romberg (arranged by Robert McCurdy) and “The Eternal Triangle” by Sonny Stitt (arranged by John Clayton).

Jazz Ensemble 1 personnel are: saxophones, Neil Smucker, North Newton, Ben Wiens, Goessel, Westen Gesell, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jesus Martinez and Matt Lind, Harrisonburg, Virginia; trumpets, Braden Unruh, Goessel, Tim Regier, Newton, Connor Born, North Newton, and Alec Loganbill; trombones, Andrew Thiesen, Newton, Billie Selichnow, Wichita, Nate Kroeker and Josh Janzen, Henderson, Nebraska; guitar, Jayce Yoder, Topeka; bass, Eli Brockway; piano, Matthew Graber, Freeman, South Dakota; drums, Charles Lenley and Adam Voth, Goddard.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015'16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015'16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.