John Coltrane’s work to be performed at University Center for the Arts at Colorado State

The spirit of John Coltrane will be resurrected this evening when the first Jazz Ensembles’ concert of the year kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in Griffin Concert Hall. Coltrane left quite the selection of music for the ensembles to choose from, as well as quite the legacy to live up to. “Coltrane became a master of every style of jazz that he pursued or helped to create,” said Jazz Ensemble I Director Peter Sommer. “He is a huge influence on virtually every modern day jazz performer and composer, and his recordings continue to inspire students of the music.” The hope is to pass this inspiration on to the audience during the concert. Both Sommer and the director of Jazz Ensemble II, Wil Swindler, have taken pains to select the pieces of music they think will do just this. “It was a challenge to select music that was not only available for a full-sized Jazz Ensemble, but also that would be at an appropriate difficulty level for our students to tackle,” Swindler said. Swindler and Sommer agree that challenge has been met and are confident in their respective ensembles’ abilities to make Coltrane proud. While the mention of John Coltrane and his music might be enough to grab the attention of most seasoned jazz fans, the ensembles hope that people who are new to the genre will find the concert just as appealing. “Almost every fan of jazz music has a few John Coltrane tunes or albums that would be ‘desert island’ picks,” Swindler said. “For the uninitiated, this is some of the most energetic and compelling modern jazz that there is. It’ll move you on many levels, if you let it in.” CSU students who want to spend an evening letting in the music of John Coltrane can purchase tickets for $7. Tickets are $1 for anyone under 18 and $12 for adults. The harmonic, melodic and improvisation concepts established by Coltrane in the 1950s and 1960s will be demonstrated in big-band arrangements of his music for a total of two hours. “The bands sound great, and the music is wonderful,” Sommer said. “Our students are doing a great job and I hope that folks who enjoy creative music will join us.” Entertainment Writer Katie Salka can be reached at