MU Jazz Spring 2019 Tour planned with special guest Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
HUNTINGTON — Marshall University’s Jazz Ensemble I will go on a mini-tour with “America’s Got Talent” Season 6 winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Thursday through Saturday, April 4-6, throughout West Virginia. Under the direction of Jeff Wolfe, the ensemble and Murphy will present clinics at high schools and perform evening public concerts in Parkersburg, Beckley and Lewisburg.
The 17-piece big band will kick off the tour with a free concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Parkersburg South High School. The event is open to all.
Next, the band will travel to Beckley, making a stop at Woodrow Wilson High School for a high school clinic, before presenting an evening concert at 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Tamarack Theatre. Tickets for this show cost $25 and can be purchased in advance online at https://www.tamarackwv.com/events/.
The tour will conclude with a show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg. Tickets for this show are $25 as well, and can be purchased in advance online at https://www.gvtheatre.org/single-tickets.
“I’m really looking forward to singing with the Marshall Jazz Band students on their mini-tour,” Murphy said. “Several of their instructors are members of my touring band, and they are always talking about what great young people they have in the program at Marshall.
“People don’t always think about this style of music when they think about West Virginia, but they should. The Marshall Jazz program has a really strong history of teaching this great, timeless music genre, and turning out world-class jazz musicians. I’m just grateful for the chance to give back to my state, to be a small part of helping these kids succeed, and hopefully inspire these young musical artists to show them that anything is possible.”
The members of the ensemble are thrilled to have Murphy joining them on tour, said Jeff Wolfe, director of the MU Jazz Ensemble.
“Not only is he an amazing singer and talent, but he also serves as an example and inspiration to our West Virginia students to not stop following their dreams in pursuing America’s artistic gift to the world — jazz,” Wolfe said. “I think audiences will enjoy the eclectic mix of music from our top big band, jazz combo, and who knows? We might have a few surprises up our sleeve that folks won’t want to miss.”
These concerts are sponsored by the School of Music’s jazz studies program in the College of Arts and Media.
The MU Jazz Ensemble I is the premier large jazz ensemble in the Marshall University jazz studies program. Over the past year, the MU Jazz Ensemble has performed with world-renowned drummer and band-leader Jeff Hamilton, NEA Jazz Master Jason Marsalis at the Inaugural Huntington International Jazz Festival, and at the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition, as well as with noted trumpet player and band leader Rob Parton at the 50th Annual Marshall University Winter Jazz Festival. In addition to multiple on-campus concerts each semester, the MU Jazz Ensemble I performs frequently across West Virginia and the Tri-State area, and at regional high schools and jazz festivals.
“I think audiences will enjoy the eclectic mix of music from our top big band, jazz combo, and who knows? We might have a few surprises up our sleeve that folks won’t want to miss.”
Director of Marshall University’s Jazz Ensemble