Jazz Ensemble Concert - Spring 2024

Saturday, April 6 - 8:00 PM

On Saturday, April 6th, at 8:00 PM in Old Cabell Auditorium, the UVA Jazz Ensemble, directed by John D’earth, will present their spring 2024 concert The Original JazzManiac featuring D’earth’s longtime friend and collaborator, baritone saxophonist Glenn Wilson. John and Glenn have been playing together for decades, first, as band mates in Doug Richard’s celebrated GAME Orchestra (Great American Music Ensemble) and as collaborators on their own projects through the years. In 2012 they released a live album, Timely, on CADENCE JAZZ RECORDS. Both are veterans of the Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton big bands.

Glenn lived in Richmond for many years and was a vital part of the Central Virginia jazz scene. He fronted The JazzManiacs, a band he co-led with pianist Steve Kessler, hence the title of the concert.

“Glenn is one of the greatest improvisors I know,” says D’earth.  So much of what jazz improvisors play is learned and recited in re-combinations.  It is rare when a player truly improvises, when ideas and execution stay fresh at every moment. Glenn is one of those players. I want to expose my students, not just to his expertise, but to his artistry.”

The concert will feature a mix of classic and progressive titles. Chestnuts like Angel Eyes, featuring lead alto saxophonist Connor Rose, and Dizzy Gillespie’s Salt Peanuts will keep company with D’earth’s arrangement of Charles Mingus’ Reincarnation of a Lovebird, and Glenn Wilson’s arrangement of Devil May Care, a vocal tune featuring fourth year singers Anna Yankowski and Catalina Cueto.

“Followers of the band will notice that our trombone section is five-strong this year and extremely competent and solid!” D’earth said.  “We will feature them in the admonitory jazz-education polemic, Keep it Simple!”

A highlight of the evening will be the ensemble’s performance of Epiphany, the first big band composition/arrangement by first year guitarist Grant MacMillan.  “Grant is full of talent and ambition,” says D’earth.  “His first attempt at writing for us in a highly evolved and extremely challenging piece of music; we love it! I think people will be amazed when they hear it!”

This concert will be the Jazz Ensemble’s 6th partnering with Jazz4Justice, a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness of Legal Aid through support of collegiate jazz concerts.  The UVA Jazz Ensemble welcomes and endorses their efforts to strengthen Legal Aid which works for equal access to the court system for all citizens.

For more information on this event, please visit https://music.virginia.edu/jazz-ensemble-spring-2024-concert.

The UVA Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of trumpeter/composer John D’earth, has become one of the more creative college big bands in the country. The group’s performances feature classic repertoire from across the spectrum of jazz history, jazz arrangements of music from diverse genres, and original compositions and arrangements by the students and the director.

Giving two major concerts a year in Old Cabell Auditorium, and various extra performances, the Jazz Ensemble is an extended big band that includes flutes, vocalists, and, sometimes, other instruments not normally associated with big band music. 

The Jazz Ensemble encourages its members to immerse themselves in the art form called jazz, to understand its history, and to listen, repeatedly, to the music. Jazz, and the blues from which it sprang, are both gifts from Black America to the rest of the world. Jazz gives music back to the musicians by teaching two things: 1. master musical language on your instrument, and 2. Tell your own story; “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken,” as Oscar Wilde exhorted. The UVA Jazz Ensemble avidly pursues these twin goals of expertise and creative expression.

To find out more about Jazz events at UVA, visit https://music.virginia.edu/jazz-events.

Tickets are $10 for the general public,  $9 for UVA Faculty & Staff,  $5 for students, and Free for UVA Students who reserve in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the UVA Arts Box Office, on-line at https://artsboxoffice.virginia.edu/, by phone (434) 924-3376 or in person at the Arts Box Office or at the door on the night of the concert. The UVA Arts Box Office is located on the John and Betsy Casteen Arts Grounds, inside the lobby of the UVA Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Road. For directions, please visit UVA Visitors Map or view directions via Google Maps.

Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA’s historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda (map). Parking is available in the central grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Rd, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner. Handicap parking is available in the small parking lot adjacent to Bryan Hall.

All programs are subject to change.

Contact UVA Music for more information (434.924.3052 or music@virginia.edu).

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Old Cabell Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Event Type


UVA Music Department

Date / Time

Saturday, April 6, 2024
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM


(434) 924-3052
More Info: