NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Don’t let the cold weather stop you from hearing some hot jazz at Bethel College.
The quartet Organique – Jim Pisano, Bethel director of jazz studies, on saxophone; William Flynn, Wichita, on guitar; Jeremy Thomas, Oklahoma City, on the Hammond B3 organ; and Pete Zimmer, New York City, on drums – is making its second appearance on campus Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium.
The concert is free and open to the public (with donations accepted to support jazz at Bethel), as is a 5 p.m. clinic that same day with Zimmer and Bethel Jazz Combo I, also in Krehbiel Auditorium.
“We will be playing original compositions as well as jazz standards,” Pisano said.
“This concert is part of a four-day tour, which also includes a residency at the University of Central Oklahoma, in Edmond, and performances at the Black Dolphin in Kansas City.”
Drummer Pete Zimmer, born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has been based in New York since 2001, where he has established himself as one of the top-call young drummers in that city’s jazz scene.
Zimmer has performed and recorded with jazz legends and masters, as well as rising jazz stars. In 2004, he launched his label Tippin’ Records and released his first album as a bandleader, Common Man. He has produced and released four additional CDs, both studio and live recordings that feature many of his compositions.
Since 2005, Zimmer has played in many of New York’s famous venues and has toured much of the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been on faculty at the New York Jazz Academy since 2009.
At Bethel College, Pisano directs Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Combo I and the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble, in addition to teaching. He is completing a doctorate in jazz saxophone from the University of Illinois.
Pisano maintains an active performance schedule – most notably in the saxophone section of the Jazz Heritage Orchestra, since 2001. He serves as lead alto and tenor soloist, and has collaborated with, to name just two, Benny Golson and Grammy®-nominated jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin.
He has appeared as a sideman on more than 10 CDs and has had many of his own compositions and arrangements recorded. Lisa Thorson, professor of voice at Berklee College of Music, selected Pisano’s “Her Eyes” to include in her vocal pedagogy text.
Flynn’s name is well known in Wichita (and increasingly in Kansas City) as well as here in Newton and North Newton, since he has played at least twice on the Bethel campus, and recently at Moxie’s in Newton.
The Wichita Eagle has described Flynn as “playing a mean guitar.” He is on the music faculty at Wichita State University, where he teaches and also directs the Guitar Ensemble.
As a graduate student at the University of North Texas, Flynn held the guitar chair with the world-renowned and Grammy®-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band, performing alongside such jazz luminaries as John Clayton, Wayne Bergeron and Terell Stafford, and appearing on the band’s 2012 release Lab 2012.
Flynn’s playing and composing can be heard on Traveler (Artists Recording Collective, 2017) and The Songbook Project (Armored Records, 2016). He is the co-author of the Mel Bay publication Jazz Guitar Duets (2016).
Thomas is a rhythm master, playing, in addition to the Hammond B3 organ, drums, piano, keyboard, synthesizers and bass guitar.
He has collaborated with numerous gospel and jazz artists, touring or performing with three-time Grammy®-nominated jazz organist Joey Defrancesco, four-time Grammy®-winning trumpet player and arranger Arturo Sandoval, six-time Grammy®-winning saxophonist David Sanborn and jazz organist Tony Monaco, among many others.
Thomas’ debut solo album, Jeremy Thomas I Am, which came out in 2013, features him on all the instruments listed above.
Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.
Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to TitleIXCoordinator@bethelks.edu.