Acclaimed alumni return Oct. 13 for Jazz Artist Series concert with top student players

Oct 11, 2021 at 08:43 am by Voice Wire

MTSU Jazz Artist Series
Saxophonists Jovan Quallo and David Williford will join the MTSU Jazz Ensemble I’s rhythm section in a performance of original compositions and arrangements in contemporary styles.

A pair of acclaimed School of Music alumni will return to MTSU’s Wright Music Building for a Wednesday, Oct. 13, concert with a quintet of current students to launch this year’s MTSU Jazz Artist Series.

Saxophonists Jovan Quallo and David Williford will join the MTSU Jazz Ensemble I’s rhythm section — pianists Noah Huseman and Jeremy Winter, guitarist Eric Burgess, drummer Josh Cook and bassist Baily Johnstone —in a performance of original compositions and arrangements in contemporary styles.

Tickets for the Oct. 30 concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hinton Hall inside the Wright Music Building at 1439 Faulkinberry Drive, are $10. Admission is free for MTSU students, faculty and staff with a current ID.

Concertgoers can reserve tickets by contacting Jamey Simmons, professor of jazz trumpet and director of MTSU’s Jazz Studies Program at 615-898-2724 or james.simmons@mtsu.edu. Discounts also are available for band students and educators.

Guests must follow MTSU's mask and other health safety requirements inside the venue.

“The concert will showcase the sound of two of our most talented alumni along with student artists,” said Simmons, who’ll also join the performances on trumpet.

“The exciting thing for us as teachers is to perform with and feature our graduates, showing future generations the possibilities after leaving MTSU.”

MTSU’s Jazz Ensemble I is the university’s top-performing student group in the Jazz Studies Program. The ensemble, which features the program’s most experienced student artists, tours throughout the region and focuses on cutting-edge works and big-band repertoire.

Quallo, a music education alumnus and native of Boston, Massachusetts, is a Nashville-based musician and teacher whose career so far has included work with artists ranging from Dionne Warwicke, Robben Ford and Keb’ Mo’ to Jake Owen, Reba McEntire and Jeff Coffin. He also operates a private woodwinds studio, currently teaching more than 40 middle and high school students in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Among Quallo’s recent projects is Nashville-based vocalist Tamara Bodie's new single and video, "Tea,” in which he’s a featured artist. 

Williford, a jazz studies graduate from Knoxville who also is now a Nashville-based performer, teacher and composer, released his debut album, “Possible Futures,” in 2016 with all original compositions and arrangements. He performs and records with artists that include John Mailander, Dynamo, Mike Hicks, Sory Diabate, Rick Wilkerson, and the Nashville Jazz Composers Collective.

A live performance of “Keep Moving” by Williford and his jazz group is available below.

Now in its 22nd season, the MTSU Jazz Artist Series brings internationally renowned jazz artists to campus for performances and educational workshops. Past guest artists have included some of the most important musicians and educators in jazz history.

For more information about MTSU’s Jazz Artist Series, please visit mtsu.edu/music/jazzseries. For details on other special events in the MTSU School of Music in the College of Liberal Arts, visit mtsumusic.com or call 615-898-2493.

Sections: Local Events Arts


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