Apr 052011
Authors: Anna Baldwin

Tenor saxophonist Everett Cencich says he’s not very good at naming his music compositions.

A jazz graduate teaching assistant, he describes his original piece, “S.I.M.U.” –– an acronym for “Song I Made Up” ­­–– as high-energy Latin, like Miami Cuban music.
This piece will be performed with several other student originals, as well as jazz classics, tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the University Center for the Arts during the annual Jazz Combos Concert.

Under the direction of new jazz faculty member Ben Markley for Combo I and Cencich for Combo II and III, the show will feature 12 pieces, each with some improvisation.

“(Improvisation) is one of the foundations of jazz,” Markley said. “It’s fun for me and for the students. You never know what you’re gong to hear.”

“(We’re really playing) a range of things. Some are slower; we’re playing some Funk, Fushion and slower swing,” Cencich said, adding that it’s been a lot of fun directing the last two combos in the program.

Cencich says there is an array of playing abilities demonstrated in the group because the students range from sophomores up to graduate students.

Markley describes “Chapel Hill,” composed by student Jon Gray, as a slow, beautiful ballad with a hint of gospel included.

He describes “Two Ways About It,” by student Ben Strauss as a very sophisticated piece.

The other student composer is Bruce Williamsom with “Wings.”

Audience members will also hear pieces from jazz favorites like Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Pee Wee Ellis and Irving Mills.

Markley believes the performance will be an “enjoyable journey” for the audience.

“It’s the one time of the semester that the community and CSU can see these performers,” Markley said.

The performance is sponsored in part by ART342.org, a Fort Collins-founded non-profit organization that supports independent artists by providing creative space, living areas and financial aid.

UCA Beat Reporter Anna Baldwin can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

Attend the event

  • What: Jazz Combos Concert
  • Where: Griffin Concert Hall, UCA
  • When: Wed., April 6, 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $7 students, $1 youth (2-17), $12 adult
 Posted by at 3:30 pm

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