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Jazz Ensemble I headed for Greeley jazz festival

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I will be traveling west this weekend to participate in the 46th annual University of Northern Colorado/Greeley Jazz Festival.

The festival is the largest of its kind in the United States, bringing together internationally recognized artists along with more than 250 college, high school and middle school big bands, combos and jazz vocal groups from across the country.

More than 8,000 participants, from students to jazz lovers of all stripes, will enjoy main-stage concerts, after-hours jam sessions, daytime performances and workshop sessions, many led by award-winning clinicians.

Bethel’s Jazz I will be one of the daytime performers, bringing a quartet of Thad Jones charts to the stage in Monfort Concert Hall in Greeley, 11:30 a.m.-noon April 23.

They will play “Tip Toe,” “Mean What You Say,” “To You” and “Three and One.”

James Pisano, director of jazz studies at Bethel College, leads Jazz Ensemble I. Personnel are: saxophones, Neil Smucker, North Newton, Ben Wiens, Goessel, Westen Gesell, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Matt Lind, Harrisonburg, Virginia; trumpets, Braden Unruh, Goessel, Tim Regier, Newton, Connor Born, North Newton, and Alec Loganbill, Hesston; trombones, Andrew Thiesen, Newton, Billie Selichnow, Wichita, and Josh Janzen, Henderson, Nebraska; guitar, Jayce Yoder, Topeka; bass, Eli Brockway, McPherson; piano, Matt Graber, Freeman, South Dakota; and drums, Adam Voth, Goddard.

The UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival is a non-competitive and cultural facet of the UNC Jazz Studies Program, the UNC School of Music and the College of Performing and Visual Arts. For complete information about this year’s festival, see

To keep current with Bethel College jazz, look for (and “Like”) Bethel College Jazz Studies on Facebook. The final jazz event of the school year is Jazz on the Green, May 11 at 8 p.m. on campus.

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.