Doudna to host jazz lab band concert


File Photo

Members of the Eastern Illinois University Jazz Lab Band performing on November 20, 2014 in the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Qian Cheng, Staff Reporter

The EIU Jazz Lab Band will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Theatre of the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

This event will be free and open to the public.

Paul Johnston, the director of the EIU Jazz Lab Band, said this concert is different from previous concerts.

Johnston also said he would describe the upcoming jazz concert as swinging rhythm, improvisation and blues-influenced.

The EIU Jazz Lab Band is scheduled to perform a wide variety of pieces, including both contemporary and classic jazz pieces.

“We have new music comes this concert. We also have ‘Four Voices,’(a) vocal jazz group as our guests,” Johnston said. “They are going to perform a few selections by themselves, and they’re also going to play four selections with the band. We’re looking for that collaboration.”

“Four Voices” is a vocal jazz group led by Eastern music professor emeritus Allan Horney.

The group will perform several selections with the Jazz Lab Band, including arrangements of “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home,” “Girl Talk,” “Satin Doll” and “Route 66.”

They are also performing “If I Only Had a Brain” from “The Wizard of Oz,” which is better known to the public.

Johnston said the preparation for the concert has been going strong since the beginning of the fall semester.

“We’ve been rehearsing twice a week since the beginning of school,” Johnston said. “We’ve had a couple of performances at the meantime, concerts here on campus and Cumberland High School last week. So we’re really looking forward to sharing our music with other folks in our community.”

Johnston said he was very pleased to work with all of the students who are involved in the performance.

“There are 19 students involved the performance. We have 18 undergraduate students and one graduate student,” Johnston said. “It’s been a real pleasure to work with this particular group of students. The group is a nice mix of veterans with new and energetic people. So it’s been really an enjoyable semester working with them.”

Johnston said he would offer students advice about jazz based on a famous quote by Art Blakey.

“Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life,” Johnston said. “I hope the folks come and enjoy the concert and the music is meaningful to them.”


Qian Cheng can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]