Last modified: Wednesday, April 8, 2009
2009 Big Band Extravaganza at IU features Delores King Williams and Everett Greene
The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music will host its annual Big Band Extravaganza, featuring IU jazzmen David N. Baker and Pat Harbison, on April 19 (Saturday) at 8 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center.
The Big Band Extravaganza merges two outstanding jazz ensembles of student performers trained by Baker and Harbison. This year's concert, "It Don't Mean a Thing . . . If It Ain't Got That Swing," will present masterpieces of the swing era and guest performances by vocalists Delores King Williams and Everett Greene.
"I am so delighted to have a pair of great vocalists join us this year," said Baker. "Delores and Everett are two of the top professionals I know, and with them helping us celebrate the swing music of the masters, we are all in for a real treat."
Williams, a Baltimore native, has performed with Baker and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra since the early 1990s. She is a winner of a Downbeat magazine award, a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition, a winner of the Billie Holiday Vocal Competition, an Audie Award-winner for audio book narration in Blood: Stories of Life and Death in the Civil War and a former soloist for the United States Army Band. Williams has performed internationally and is equally at home in theatrical productions, as well as concert settings, musicals, plays, cabaret, commercials and video productions.
Although she initially met Baker in Washington, D.C., years of collaboration with him have brought Williams to Indiana numerous times. She also can be heard singing the music of Hoagy Carmichael on Heart and Soul, her latest recording with the Indianapolis-based Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra. Brent Wallarab, a trombonist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, teaches jazz studies at the Jacobs School of Music.
"Well, I was absolutely thrilled that David asked me back this year for the Big Band Extravaganza," said Williams. "Bloomington audiences are so gracious and also very discerning, so we knew we had to bring something new to the concert. David suggested a glorious duet for Everett and me, and I think we'll just surprise you all with it."
Greene, a native of Indianapolis, is an accomplished bass baritone with a wide repertoire that spans jazz, blues, gospel and popular music. In addition, he is a skilled actor, narrator and voice-over artist. Career highlights include winning an Emmy Award for Precious Memories/Strolling 47th Street, performing at the Democratic Governors' Association Dinner honoring President Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C., and being a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition. He has toured internationally and also performed at numerous festivals, including in South Africa, Canada, Japan and across the United States.
Greene has been a featured vocalist with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and regularly featured at Indianapolis Colts, Pacers and Fever games, as well as in television commercials.
"I felt like I missed something wonderful when I was unable to be there for the last Extravaganza, but I am really looking forward to being there for this one and getting an opportunity to work with the wonderful musicians at Indiana University," Greene said.
Combining 40 of the world's most talented jazz students and presenting sizzling performances of virtually all styles and eras of jazz, the IU Jacobs School of Music Jazz Ensembles continue the legacy of one of the top programs of its kind, which began in the 1950s.
Tickets are $10-25 for general admission and $8-12 for students and are available at the MAC Box Office (info: 812-855-7433), online at www.music.indiana.edu/events, or through Ticketmaster at 812-333-9955.