MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

February 7, 2013

Area jazz fans invited to annual Jam-Balaya at NSU on Feb. 8

— TAHLEQUAH — Jazz lovers are invited to enjoy good music, tasty food and support the Northeastern State University Jazz Studies program by attending Jam-Balaya tonight at the NSU Jazz Lab.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the NSU Jazz Ensemble performs at 8 p.m. with Dr. Tommy Poole, director of jazz studies.

Rather than bring in a special guest, Poole said he wanted the focus to be on the students of the NSU Jazz Ensemble — some of whom will perform at their final Jam-Balaya.

“I feel very privileged to have so many talented student jazz soloists in the ensemble this year,” Poole said in a media release. “I will play a solo or two on saxophone. (NSU double bass instructor) Mikel Combs will also play a solo or two. But it will mostly be the students who are featured, particularly our upperclassmen. This is the final year for a lot of talented seniors — a lot of veterans. We want to take this opportunity to feature them as soloists.”

A silent auction will be conducted and copies of all CD titles featuring the NSU Jazz Ensemble will be available for purchase, including the latest release “On Cue.”

Dinner will include beverages, dessert and the always popular main jambalaya dish. Proceeds support jazz studies at NSU.

“Jam-Balaya is our big annual fundraising event,” Poole said. “Our focus for this year’s fundraiser is to increase the endowment of the Jacob Farinelli/Joe Davis Memorial Scholarship.”

The NSU Jazz Lab is at 315 N. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah. Tickets for the dinner are $35 per couple or $20 for individuals. Activities will include a silent auction. Concert-only tickets are $12 each.

“This event always fills up very quickly,” Poole said. “We recommend people reserve their tickets in advance.”

Information about events at the NSU Jazz Lab is available online at www.nsujazzlab.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jazzlab, or find /nsumusic on Twitter.

Upcoming events include the Green Country Jazz Festival on March 3-4 and the NSU Jazz Ensemble with Michael Bennett on April 8.

Jam-Balaya is presented by NSU Jazz Studies, the Department of Performing Arts and the College of Liberal Arts.

Information (918) 444-4602.

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