Jazz Festival to feature New York talent

The 13th annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, will honor the famed Southeastern alumnus, Bill Evans, with three days of jazz music, fun and education.
Paul Frechou, director of bands, says this year students and other attendees can expect to hear some exciting jazz music from the east coast to broaden their musical horizons.
“We have an outstanding guest artist this year, like years in the past,” said Frechou. “Marcus Printup is a trumpet player in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  He will be performing with the Southeastern Jazz Ensemble.”
Printup, a native of Conyers, Ga., attended University of North Florida for a music scholarship and that is where his love of jazz flourished. In 1991, he was introduced to Marcus Roberts and Wyton Marsalis. Printup was then inducted into the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York in 1993. His trumpet skills can be heard in the 1999 movie, “Playing by Heart,” since he recorded songs for the film’s soundtrack.
Printup will play with the Southeastern Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, April 5 at 2 p.m. inside the Pottle Auditorium. The first two days of the Jazz Festival will honor Evans through a Southeastern Alumni Band performance, on Thursday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. inside Pottle Auditorium. Friday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m., Printup will also perform a second show with the Southeastern Jazz Combos. Tickets for Friday’s concert will be $20 in advance and $30 at the door.
“The Stan Kenton Band cancelled their entire tour and the Marcus Printup Quintet will take their place on the Friday night time slot,” Frechou said. “To open for this group, the Southeastern Jazz Combos will perform a few selections led by faculty member Clarence Johnson. Clarence is a world class tenor saxophonist, and he will be performing alongside Marcus Printup for the concert on Friday night.”
To pay homage to Evans, students of jazz combos and jazz ensemble will play some of Evans’ music. The New Jersey native came to Southeastern on a flute scholarship and eventually ended up playing jazz piano. Evans was also one of the founding members of the Southeastern’s Delta Omega Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. The man of many talents also wore a sports hat as he was Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s quarterback on the football intramurals team. Evans led his team to a league championship in the 1949 intramural tournament.
His improvisational style got him hired by Miles Davis, making him the first white man to play in Davis’ sextet. Evans also collaborated with recording artist Tony Bennett. They recorded an album together in 1975 called, “The Tony Bennett/ Bill Evans Album.” Evans has recorded over 20 albums, received 31 Grammy nominations and won seven. His influence on Southeastern’s campus and music department has had a vast impact on students. One student has come up with his original arrangement to one of Evan’s tunes.
“Marcus Printup wrote a chart that we will be performing titled Blue in Green,” said Frechou. “This tune was written by Bill Evans. I also have someone in the Alumni Band that will be arranging a Bill Evans tune.”
For more information regarding Jazz Festival or to purchase tickets, on the Bill Evans Jazz Festival, contact Frechou at 985-549-3825.