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Students play in WITNESS to Duke Ellington

witnessFor the past week, the Augsburg Jazz Ensemble has stretched themselves musically in an in-depth exploration of the music of Duke Ellington. In partnership with the VocalEssence choral ensemble, Augsburg once again participated in their WITNESS program, which celebrates the music of African-Americans.

Music Department Chair Bob Stacke recruited a “big band”-style orchestra that included high school, Augsburg, and professional players. For the “High School All Star Jazz Band,” he worked with music teachers in five Minneapolis public high schools and the Walker West Music Academy in Saint Paul to put together a band of talented players. They were joined by Jazz Ensemble members and professionals Larry Sims (trumpet) and David Wright III (saxophone/clarinet), who served as mentors to the students and played with them in the orchestra. The High School All Star Jazz Band was featured in “C Jam Blues.” Continue reading “Students play in WITNESS to Duke Ellington”