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Jazz groups to perform on campus and in Wichita festival

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Can’t get enough of Bethel College Jazz Ensembles? If so, you’re in luck – there will be a plethora of jazz and talented musicians on stage Monday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center and four days later at the Wichita Jazz Festival.

Admission to the Bethel concert is free and open to the public.

Jazz Ensemble II will begin the concert, with four pieces: Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (arr. Gordon Goodwin), Michel Legrand’s “Watch What Happens” (arr. Frank Mantooth), Mile Davis’ “All Blues” (arr. Frank Man) and “Loose Ends,” a composition by Blake Long, senior percussionist from Moran.

The Bethel College Jazz Combo follows Jazz II and will start its section of the program with more original work by students: “Flip’s Blues,” a composition by saxophonist Joel Linscheid, senior from North Newton, and Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance,” arranged by trumpeter Aaron Linscheid, fifth-year senior from North Newton. Jazz Combo’s final piece will be Clifford Brown’s “Daahoud.”

“The nice thing about Jazz Combo,” said James Pisano, assistant professor of music and director of jazz studies, “is that, with fewer people, we are able to focus more on improvisation. The upcoming concert will showcase music that is deeply rooted in the tradition of bebop and modern inspirations.”

The program will conclude will Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I’s performance of Jimmy Van Heusen’s “It Could Happen to You” (arr. Mike Crotty), “I’ll Remember April,” written by Don Raye, Gene De Paul and Pat Johnson and arranged by Mike Tomaro, Thelonious Monk’s “Ask Me Now” (arr. Greg Yasinitsky) and “Magic Flea” by Sammy Nestico.

“[This concert] is a good opportunity for these ensembles to play their repertoire for the upcoming Wichita Jazz Festival,” said Pisano. “This festival is a really exciting thing for us, because we have a great performance time and we are hoping our performance to have a similar impact to [what it had at] KMEA. We are really looking forward to it.”

Both the Bethel Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble I will perform at the Wichita Jazz Festival in Miller Hall at Wichita State University Friday, April 18, Jazz Combo at 6 p.m. in Room 107 of the fine arts building and Jazz I at 7:30 in Miller Concert Hall in the same building. Contact Wichita State University’s Fine Arts Center for ticket information at (316) 978-3233.

The jazz groups are “hoping for a lot of support” for these events, Pisano said.

Personnel for the Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I are: saxophones, Kyle Claassen, sophomore from Andover, Evan Fast, sophomore from Goessel, Brett Jackson, senior from North Newton, Joel Linscheid, senior from North Newton, and Heather Robertsen, junior from Hesston; trombones, Benjamin Harder, sophomore from Hesston, Christian Loganbill, sophomore from Wichita, Rob Tierney, Hesston (Bethel College music faculty member) and Andrew Toews, senior from North Newton; trumpets, Alex Boldt, freshman from Parlier, Calif., Aaron Linscheid, fifth-year senior from North Newton, Austin McCabe-Juhnke, junior from North Newton, Ryan Stutzman, freshman from Westminster, Colo., and Kyle Unruh, junior from Goessel; bass, Michael Voth, junior from Topeka; drums, Nathaniel Yoder, junior from Kalona, Iowa; guitar, Bradley McKellip, junior from Newton; and piano, Ben Stucky, freshman from Moon Township, Pa. Jazz Combo personnel are Brett Jackson, Joel Linscheid, Aaron Linscheid, Austin McCabe-Juhnke, Nathaniel Yoder, Bradley McKellip and Ben Stucky.

Personnel for the Bethel College Jazz Ensemble II are: saxophones, Brent Badawieh, senior from Parsons, and Amy Flax, freshman from Brownell; bass, Monica Schmidt, freshman from Mount Hope; guitar, Blake Long, senior from Moran; and drums, David Kautz, Hesston (Hesston College student).

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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