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Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:  

Award-Winning Group --



          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Following its successful, two-week spring tour of Europe, the Slippery Rock University Jazz Ensemble will release a 10-track CD featuring selections presented in Paris, France, and Saluzzo, Lucca and Cesena, Italy, as part of its “Back to the States” concert set for 8 p.m. Oct. 16.

          The free concert, under the direction of Stephen Hawk, associate professor of music, will be staged in Swope Music Hall. The ensembles newest CD titled “Jazz at the Rock, Back to the States” will be available ($12) in the lobby. The CD, on the Disc Makers label, features “Groove Blues” by Don Menza, “Sing, Sang, Sung” by Gordon Goodwin and “Party Hearty” by Bob Florence, among others.

          The 17-member ensemble traveled to Europe last May where it performed at EuroDisney and Luxembourg Gardens in Paris before playing its way through Italy. “It was a remarkable and educational trip,” explains Hawk, noting that festivals in two Italian cities were set up to help celebrate the visit. “In addition to performing, our students had the opportunity to visit with the people of Paris and make friends in Italy while sharing a musical camaraderie.” The students also had the opportunity to tour Florence and Ravenna, Italy, as part of their visit.

          The on-campus concert will include two tracks from the CD, “Blue Highways,” by Paul Ferguson and “Samba del Gringo” by Gordon Goodwin, and premiere an original composition titled “IXXI” written and arranged by Hawk and dedicated to the emotions of the day of 9/11/01. Hawk describes the work as a way of showing his personal emotions as 9/11 unfolded. The concert will also include “Brush Taps, featuring drummer Pat Kennedy of Butler, “Bone Appetit,” by Robert Curnow, featuring the trombone section, and “Between Races” by Chuck Mangione, featuring  Mick Minamyer of New Springfield, Ohio, on trumpet, and Pat Schirf of Altoona on tenor saxophone.

          “We recorded the CD in a two-day marathon session, which I am sure students will long remember. The performances in Europe allowed us to be especially well prepared for the recording, and I think listeners will enjoy the selections. This is our second effort at producing a CD, and we are pleased that our first effort was so well received,” Hawk explains.

          Both the new CD, the ensemble’s first CD, released in 2000, will be available at the SRU Bookstore and from Curtain Call at the Pittsburgh Symphony Store in Pittsburgh.

          The jazz ensemble took nine “Outstanding Soloist” citations at the 1999 University of Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival.

PN, PgN, WN, PR, S

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