BISMARCK, ND - It will be a diverse evening of toe-tapping jazz and hip-moving Caribbean music at the University of Mary Jazz Ensemble and Steel Band Concert 7:30 p.m., at the Belle Mehus Auditorium, on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.
It's the second concert this season for University of Mary's Steel Band. Musical selections include Trinidadian soca, American pop, jazz and classical music. "We're excited to be joining forces with the Mary Jazz Ensemble again for a fun and eclectic combination that promises to tantalize your music senses for an entire evening," commented University of Mary Steel Drum Band Director, Lucas Bernier.
Doors open at 7 p.m., with the Steel Band kicking off the show, followed by the Jazz Ensemble performing under the direction of Dr. Anthony Williams.
The ensemble will perform selections from Thad Jones, ("Back Bone"), Mike Carubia ("Latin Excursion") and Andy Farber ("Bling"), to name just a few. The event will premiere the arrangement of John Coltrane's "Bessie's Blues" done by Williams' 13 year-old theory/composition student, Ian Ridenhour.
The event - which is free and open to the public - also features single and accompanying performances from special guest artists: Dennis Connelly, saxophone, and Michael Land, piano.
Dennis Connelly has been an active musician, clinician and adjudicator in the Upper Midwest for over 35 years. He has appeared at the International Montreux Jazz Festival as well as with Lenny Picket, Bones Malone, Jeff Jarvis, Denis Diblasio, Frank Mantooth, Lisa Henry and numerous others. He has worked and soloed as a musician in many settings including concert, jazz, rock, society bands, commercial jingle sessions, albums and orchestras. He has also spent 13 years on the jazz faculty at the International Peace Gardens.
Connelly attended high school in Edmore, ND, and earned his degree in music at Mayville State University.
It's A Night On The Town with the University of Mary Jazz Ensemble and Steel Band Concert
Connelly currently resides in Bismarck and is retired from the North Dakota Army National Guard where he was a maintenance test pilot. He is currently employed by Executive Air Taxi as an EMS helicopter pilot.
Michael Land holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in piano performance from Lee University where he studied primarily with pianist Ning An. While at Lee, he was the recipient of the prestigious Presser Music Scholarship.
As a soloist, Michael has had success in competition. In the fall of 2006, he placed first in the Tennessee Music Teachers Association state-level competition. In 2007, he received the first prize in the Zelpha Wells Piano Competition held at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, AL. At the Spring 2008 Margaret A. Guthman competition in Atlanta, GA, Michael placed fourth.
Currently living in the Bismarck-Mandan area, Michael teaches piano at Bismarck State College and jazz piano at the University of Mary. He is also active as a piano teacher, jazz musician, accompanist and church choir director.