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Local jazz musicians join together for unforgettable performance

POSTED March 16, 2010 9:10 p.m.
For the first time ever the jazz bands at Turlock and Pitman high schools and Turlock Junior High School will join the jazz contingency from California State University, Stanislaus for a night of music and revelry at Turlock Community Theatre on Friday.
Joining the 80 plus student musicians will be Mike Williams, the lead trumpeter of the Count Bassie orchestra and headlining vocalist Steve Lippia.
“It’s exciting to get everyone together for a show like this,” said Andy Nevala, the coordinator of Jazz Studies at CSU Stanislaus and the driving force behind the show. “It’s going to be a great performance.”
The format of the show will feature each band from the high schools and the junior high in their own performance. The final act will be the university jazz band, which will be joined by Williams and Lippia.
“Jazz bands are growing in popularity across the country,” Nevala said. “This is a great opportunity for these musicians to learn from one another.
“Plus there are some things that you can’t teach in a classroom,” Nevala continued. “They have to get out there under the lights and see the audience waiting for them so they can feel that pressure of a live performance. It’s something they have to experience for themselves.”
Lippia’s performance will highlight Jazz standards, including the tunes of Frank Sinatra, who Nevala says Lippia’s vocals capture perfectly.
Nevala said a confluence of good fortune helped him add Lippia and Williams to the night’s musical line-up. Both happened to be performing in the region already, Nevala said.
“I’m really pleased at how well it has all worked out,” Nevala said. “It’s a great opportunity for the students to play with these professional performers.”
Friday’s concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Turlock Community Theatre. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 for students and are available at the theatre’s box office at 668-1169 or www.turlocktheatre.org, or in person at 1574 E. Canal Drive.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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