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Colorado State Jazz Ensembles to present “The Music of Miles Davis”

Jazz Ensemble I practices before their concert "The Music of Miles Davis," which will be held on Wednesday in the University Center of the Arts. (Photo credit: Eliot Foust)
Jazz Ensemble I practices before their concert “The Music of Miles Davis,” which will be held on Wednesday in the University Center of the Arts. (Photo credit: Eliot Foust)

The sounds of Miles Davis will resonate through the halls of the University Center for the Arts Wednesday as the CSU Jazz Ensembles kicks off their fall concert season.

The first concert of the season has a new and exciting theme every year. This time, that theme is “The Music of Miles Davis.”

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“Miles Davis’ music is kind of fun because his career was extremely long and diverse,” said Wil Swindler, the associate director of Jazz Studies. “Some of the music we are playing [was composed] anywhere from 1949 to 1989. There is a lot of different music to pick from and a wide scope of styles.”

Miles Davis was a jazz trumpeter with a career that lasted 50 years, starting in the mid-40s and continuing through to the 90s. He was a part of every stylistic development and musical movement through those years, according to All Music.

“It may not be possible to overstate the importance and influence of Miles Davis in the jazz tradition,” said Peter Sommer, director of jazz studies at CSU, in a press release. “He also contributed much to the jazz culture as well – his distinct personality is still felt in our day-to-day dealings, along with his music.”

Davis proved himself to be a diverse artist, experimenting with many different styles and genres.

“Jazz is often full of crossover music,” Swindler said. “Miles was recording with artists like Cindy Lauper and Michael Jackson in the 70s and 80s, so there are some pop influences. There’s a great range of music which might convince people to come check it out.”

Davis’ music is not intended for full ensembles, but for small groups. This meant that a lot of his music needed new arrangements. Some of the music will be performed in a style traditional to Davis’, but some pieces will be arranged in a more modern style.

The ensembles have modern arrangers, but a student-created one as well. 

Senior music major and drummer, Keller Paulson, rehearses on Tuesday night in the University Center of the Arts. (Photo credit: Eliot Foust)
Senior music major and drummer, Keller Paulson, rehearses on Tuesday night in the University Center of the Arts. (Photo credit: Eliot Foust)

“Two of my personal favorites are ‘Blues for Pablo’ and ‘The Maids of Cadíz,'” Swindler said. “They are rare and performed infrequently, but we were able to the get the music for them.”

The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Griffin Concert Hall.

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Tickets are $7 for CSU students, $12 for the general public and $1 for children under 18. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office at the UCA or at www.CSUArtsTickets.com. These prices do not include at-the-door fees.

Collegian A&E Writer Emily Short can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @TheNamesShort.

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