A Journey Through Madison's Classical Music Scene
Nov 21, 2013
11:42 AMClassically Speaking
A Jazzy Way to Kick Off the Holiday Season
By Sunday evening many of us will have re-lived more of the JFK tragedy than we might have cared to. Or we might be in the mood to celebrate a crucial Packers victory (or shake off another tough loss). Or maybe are wondering how we are ever going to survive the added stress of the suddenly looming holiday season.
The Madison Jazz Society and Sun Prairie Band Boosters have the perfect prescription: Head over to Sun Prairie High School by 7 p.m. and soak up what promises to be a spectacular jazz band doubleheader.
The headliners are the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Ronald Carter and joined by guest bassist Rodney Whitaker. Since the group’s inception in 1969, the NIU Jazz Ensemble has performed and recorded with a veritable “who’s who” of jazz greats, with the legendary Dizzy Gillespie once dubbing them “my band.”
The opening act is one that will not be intimidated by the “stars,” the SPHS Jazz I band. Under Steve Sveum, this band has often sounded like junior jazz stars in the making, and they’ve proven it by going to the finals of the Essentially Ellington competition at New York City's Lincoln Center in seven of the last fourteen years. Sveum knows that this is a win-win circumstance, with Sunday night’s audience sure to enjoy both groups, and his kids getting an extra dose of inspiration and adrenaline. “Ron Carter is arguably the best jazz educator in the world," Sveum says. "He is able to get students excited about jazz in a way I have never seen anyone equal. Ron brings joy and expectation to our students and is very motivational. Just knowing Carter will be here brings out the best in our students. I am honored to call him a friend and owe much of my personal understanding of jazz, and success, to him.”
A day of clinics with the students will culminate in the concert at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and are available at the door. For more information, call 608-834-6780.