SRU Jazz Ensemble to release ‘Identity’ CD Sept. 29


Jazz CD announcement

Sept. 9, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - There's no question that jazz musicians get real world experience at Slippery Rock University. Not only do they play gigs, they rub elbows with professional musicians and record CDs.

jason kush


Most recently, the Jazz Ensemble entered a Pittsburgh studio to tape "Identity," a two-disc CD of big band, traditional and contemporary jazz numbers. The CD will be issued Sept. 29, with a release party at 7:30 p.m. in the Alumni House.

"This project was just the ultimate group project because it produced something artistic and something that didn't exist previously," said Jason Kush, assistant professor of music and ensemble director. "It is great jazz-idiom music."

Nineteen students were part of the recording session at Audio Images, many improvising solos. Australian saxophonist Troy Roberts, winner of four consecutive Downbeat Jazz Soloist Awards, was a guest artist.

The 88-minute CD features 10 songs: Convertible Burt, One Day Wonder, The Universal Dance, Off-Balance, The Long Way, Trip, Fade to Black, The Llama, Quiescence and Longing.

Kush said the project "required students to stretch their limits as musicians to meet their goals, and they did it."

"All of the members of the band were challenged with this project to play, perform and record at the highest possible level," said Jeanne Marie Stalteri, a music education and performance major from Indiana, Pennsylvania. "Recording came with a lot of pressure but was an amazing opportunity and a great learning experience. I loved working with this group of people and was constantly pushed and inspired to play my very best."

The ensemble received the commissioned songs throughout the past year and spent several months rehearsing the music for the April-May recording.

"This project is truly special and was an immense opportunity for the Jazz Ensemble and for Slippery Rock University," Stalteri said. "It has been a highlight of my time here, and I am very proud of all the work accomplished. All of the members of the band owe so much to our director, Dr. Jason Kush, for putting this project together. I am very excited to hear the finished product and to share this project with others."

The Jazz Ensemble includes:

  • Erik Krohnemann, a music major from Huntington, on alto saxophone;
  • Clint Bleil, a music education major from Pittsburgh, on alto saxophone;
  • Zach Bickle, a music education major from Lockport, New York, on tenor saxophone;
  • Jeanne Marie Stalteri, a music education major from Indiana, on tenor saxophone;
  • Kyle Strain, a music education major from Mercer, on baritone saxophone;
  • Craig Gill, a music performance major from Moon Township, on trumpet;
  • Andrew Loose, a music education major from Mechanicsburg, on trumpet;
  • Kevin Farinelli, a music major from Cranberry Township, on trumpet;
  • Rob Kaup, a music major from Pittsburgh, on trumpet;
  • Wes Woodward, a music major from Erie, on trumpet;
  • Kenny Farinelli, a music education major from Cranberry, on trombone;
  • David Vevers, a music therapy major from Pittsburgh, on trombone;
  • Scott Boyer, a music major from Pittsburgh, on trombone;
  • Aaron Podorson, a music major from Irwin, on trombone;
  • Steve Pachesky, a music education major from Norwin, on piano;
  • Walker Martz, a music education major from Butler, on guitar;
  • Simon Neubert, a music education major from Saxonburg, on bass;
  • Justin Vorp, a music performance major from Shaler, on drums; and
  • Adam Kantz, a music major from Beaver Falls, on percussion.

At the CD launch, students will talk about the making of the CD and play select tracks.

The $10 CD will be available at the SGA Bookstore and many online sites, including Spotify, iTunes, CD Baby and

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |