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IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, April 11, 2007

2007 Big Band Extravaganza swings with a dash of Ella

Singer Delores King Williams to be featured as soloist

April 11, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music will host its annual Big Band Extravaganza featuring IU jazzmen David Baker and Pat Harbison on Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m. at the Musical Arts Center.

Singer Delores King Williams will be featured as a soloist during the Big Band Extravaganza.

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The Big Band Extravaganza merges two outstanding jazz ensembles of student performers trained by Baker and Harbison. This year's concert will include best known and beloved selections from the songbook of the late jazz singing legend Ella Fitzgerald, who would have turned 90 on April 25. Delores King Williams, who has performed with Baker and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra since the early 1990s, will be guest soloist.

Last month, Baker was honored with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' "Living Jazz Legend Award" for lifetime achievement. Baker says the addition of Williams to this year's concert is an extra bonus for the audience and a personal pleasure.

"It's always great to work with Delores, and her husband is one of my favorite jazz trumpeters," said Baker. "This year, with the opportunity to have her showcase from Ella's songbook, is going to be a special treat."

Williams 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. Although she initially met Baker in Washington, D.C., years of collaboration with him have brought Williams to Indiana numerous times.

"Bloomington and Indianapolis are like a second home to me -- and I'm always treated like a queen!" says Williams, a Baltimore native, who has recorded an album of Hoagy Carmichael songs with the Indianapolis-based Buselli/Wallarab Jazz Orchestra. Brent Wallarab, a trombonist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, teaches jazz studies at the IU Jacobs School of Music.

Tickets are $10-15 for general admission and $8-12 for students and are available at the MAC Box Office (Info: 812-855-7433), online at, or through Ticketmaster at 812-333-9955.