By Amanda Schreck
SC Staff Writer
On March 1, a world premiere event featuring Phil Woods and the Celebration Saxophone Quartet will grace East Stroudsburg University’s Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall at the Fine and Performing Arts Center for an afternoon of jazz.
The World Premiere Saxophone Celebration features Phil Woods’ narrations, stories, and photographs showing what inspired his music.
The quartet, which includes Nelson Hill on soprano sax, Matt Vashlishan on alto sax, Neil Wetzel on tenor sax, and Jay Rattman on baritone sax, will be performing Woods’ compositions. The second performance will feature pianist Phil Markowitz and alto saxophonist Vashlishan playing Woods’ Sonata.
Woods, a four-time Grammy award winner, has traveled and performed in France and around the United States. He will debut his newest arrangements and music with the quartet during the show.
“Phil’s music for this concert is for a unique instrumentation and setting not often seen in live music performances, especially in the area,” said Vashlishan. The World Premiere Concert is $25 per person and $10 for students.
For those interested in getting the full jazz experience and the opportunity to interact with Woods and the quartet before the concert, there will be a VIP reception from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, which also includes a reserved seat for the concert from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. Tickets for the VIP experience are $100 per person.
“The concert and the Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection (ACMJC) hope to continue to educate everyone about these musicians, what jazz is, and how diverse it can be, and to give everyone a chance to see and experience Phil Woods, who is one of the most famous jazz saxophonists alive today,” said Vashlishan.
He continued, “I guarantee there is something in the Collection that would appeal to everyone regardless of musical taste.”
Vashlishan also encourages students to keep the music flowing on campus and in the community. “We have Zoot Fest every November, and now we are beginning with this performance in the spring semester as an effort to keep jazz and music in general alive on campus,” he said.
“I think it is more important now than ever to attend these concerts and support what music is happening instead of focusing on what isn’t happening. We need everyone’s support to help continue events like this, and like I said, $10 is an amazing deal,” said Vashlishan.
You can register for the event at http://www.esu.edu/jazzatesu. A portion of all proceeds will benefit the ACMJC at ESU to further fund the advancement of reaching students, faculty, and the local community with the gift of jazz.
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