Posting Date: January 24, 2011
Jazz program heats up at Kennesaw StateFaculty artist Trey Wright serves up exciting concert
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KENNESAW, Ga.—The School of Music at Kennesaw State University is rapidly becoming a hot spot for jazz music. With such luminary Georgia jazz artists as Sam Skelton, Marc Miller, Tyrone Jackson, Trey Wright and Wes Funderburk on the faculty, the six-year-old jazz program is attracting students and fans across the region.
This week, the strengths of the program will be highlighted with a performance by the Trey Wright Trio at 8 p.m. on Jan. 26 in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center. The trio includes Wright on guitar, Miller on bass and Marlon Patton on drums. For this concert, Athens-based bassist Chris Enghauser will sit in for Miller. The program will feature some standards as well as work from the Trio’s most recent CD, “Thinking Out Loud,” a new composition by Wright, and his own transcription of Paul Simon’s “Boy in the Bubble.”
“We play our own new music, but I also enjoy incorporating contemporary pop music. I think we sometimes forget that the ‘jazz standards’ were really the pop music of their day,” says Wright, who has more than a dozen CDs and numerous national and international gigs to his credit, including an international tour of Billie Holliday music with Enghauser.
Wright, who runs the jazz combo program and teaches jazz guitar at Kennesaw State, is excited to be able to perform for his KSU students and the community. “As jazz teachers, it’s really, really important to hone our craft as performers. It makes us better players and gives us more experiences to share with our students.”
Wright says that’s one of the strong suits of the KSU jazz program. “We have an amazing faculty,” he declares.
Under the direction of saxophonist Sam Skelton since 2004, the program started with just one jazz ensemble. It now includes two large ensembles, three combos and a jazz guitar ensemble, each of which offers several public performances each year both on and off campus. Currently, the students generally pursue the Bachelor of Music degree in performance, but the increasing demand has prompted the School of Music to begin expanding the jazz-specific course offerings.
“The jazz program at Kennesaw State has taken off really quickly,” Skelton says. “The students who audition are incredibly talented and dedicated. I couldn’t be more pleased with our terrific faculty.”
Admission for the Trey Wright Trio performance on Jan. 26 is free and open to the public. For directions or more information, call 770-423-6650. You can also keep up with Wright by reading his new column in the magazine, Just Jazz Guitar, starting this month.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education, business and nursing. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 22,500 from 142 countries.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts departments.