Jazz at the PUB shows off regional talent

PORT ANGELES — Jazz at the PUB on Tuesday is an informal opportunity to hear the Peninsula College Jazz Ensemble.

The free concert at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the PUB (“J” Building) on the Port Angeles campus of Peninsula College at 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

The concert, presented under the direction of David P. Jones, features Robbin Eaves of Joyce on vocals and a 15-piece jazz band.

“This is the largest band we have fielded since before COVID with five woodwinds and seven brass and a full rhythm section featuring the phenomenal drumming of Terry Smith,” Jones said in a press release.

The band will perform music from the repertoire of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band, Charlie Parker, John Scofield, Daniel Barry and a couple of new originals by Jones.

Robbin, accompanied by a smaller version of the band, will offer songs from the repertoire of Nat King Cole, Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris.

“I am particularly excited about one of the songs Robbin has chosen: ‘This Will Make You Laugh’ by the under-represented African-American composer/pianist, Irene Higginbotham,” Jones said.

“Miss Higginbotham, kept out of the spotlight largely because of her race and gender (and because so many of her great songs were composed when she was quite young), deserves more recognition,” Jones added.

The song that will be performed was written when the composer was just 23. It was recorded by Nat King Cole — and, later, his daughter Natalie — Carmen McCrae and Marvin Gaye among many others, Jones said.

“Another notable song from the pen of Miss Higginbotham, ‘Good Morning Heartache, written for Billie Holiday, was written before the composer turned 30,” Jones said.

“She is officially listed as the composer of over 50 published songs, but probably wrote many more that were unpublished, or published under male pseudonyms.”

Performers in this band are from across the North Olympic Peninsula.

From Port Angeles are have Kevin MacCartney (tenor sax), Dick “Doc” Thorson (tenor sax), Jim Bradbury (trumpet), Joel Ricci (trumpet), Ken Young (trombone) and David Jones (keyboards/director).

From Sequim are Jayne Morrison (alto sax), Anton Hilmisson (alto sax), Dan James (trumpet), Jeff Dingle (trombone), Tom Hartig (trombone),Terry Smith (drums) and Kendall Melton (bass) while John Adams (alto sax + alto clarinet + bass clarinet) hails from Port Townsend and Dan Powell (trombone) makes the twice weekly trek from Marrowstone Island.

Vaccinations, masking, and social distancing are not required to attend the performance, but the college supports efforts to keep employees and guests safe.

For more insights into why college personnel value the arts so strongly, Jones recommends Bruce Hattendorf’s blog through the following link: http://blog.pencol.edu/why-we- value-the-arts-at-peninsula-college/.

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