LU News Archive

Season opening Lamarissimo! features jazz artist Walter White

The 22nd season of the Lamarissimo! Concert Series opens Thursday, Oct. 6, with a performance by the Lamar University Jazz Ensemble featuring guest trumpeter Walter White, formerly with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Julie Rogers Theatre.

Wayne Dyess, Lamar’s director of jazz studies, conducts the ensemble.

Jimbo’s Dixie Revue, a Dixieland band formed by several alumni, will open the concert sponsored by BGI Contractors Inc. Clarinetist Jim Boone of Colmesneil, who studied under former jazz directors Pete Wiley and Richard Burkart, leads the group.Wiley and Burkart also taught Gene Badgett (piano), Port Arthur, and Dr. Bert Brown (tuba), Beaumont. Current student Andrew Guidry (trumpet), Bridge City, studies under Dyess, as did Lanny Marshall (trombone), Kirbyville. Vocalist and banjo player for the group is Dr. Graham Avery, Beaumont, who also plays violin in the Lamar Civic Orchestra.

“This particular concert will entertain and move from the earliest days of jazz with Jimbo's Dixie Revue to some of the most exciting music of the big band era—that of the dynamic band of Maynard Ferguson,” said Dyess. “From the early-1900 sounds of original Dixieland, to the very latest 21st-century sounds of the big band, thisLamarissimo!concert will cover the gamut and be a night to be remembered.”

Guest trumpeter Walter White trained at The Julliard School, and his teachers included William Vacchiano, Carmine Caruso and Kenny Wheeler.White has worked with many of the top names in music, including Bob James, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and the Jaco Pastorius Big Band.During the early 1990s, he toured and recorded with Maynard Ferguson.

“I recall my own college days at Stephen F. Austin State University when our band would bring guest artists in for our concerts,” said Dyess. “It was always a thrill to hear a real ‘pro,’ someone who made their living doing what I loved to do. Hearing a Bill Watrous, or a Maynard Ferguson, or a Walter White is inspiring. I want to give that experience and inspiration to our students. It is an opportunity to not only perform with the artist, but also to visit with them one-on-one and to ask questions.”

The Lamar Jazz Ensemble will treat audiences with such favorites as “Hip ‘n Cool,” by Les Hooper; “I’m in a Dancing Mood,” recorded by Urbie Green; “Barn 12,” recorded by Harry James; “Fever,” arranged by Roger Holmes; “Georgia On My Mind, arranged by Dave Barduhn; and “Caravan,” (as recorded by Chicago), arranged by Mike Tomaro.

Guest artist White will perform “Cantaloupe Island” and “Dolphin Dance,” by Herbie Hancock; “MacArthur Park,” by Jimmy Webb; and “Gonna Fly Now,” from the movie “Rocky.”

Students in the Lamar Jazz Ensemble include:

Saxophones: Nicholas Cantu and Josh Slaten, Orange; Larry Oliver, Port Arthur; Terrence Quesenberry, Nederland; and Kevin Rash, Fort Worth.

Trumpets: Ramon Gutierrez, Houston; Gannon Miller, Nederland; Will Poppe and Robert White IV, Beaumont.Trombones:Marissa Bell, Joshua Safar and Carl Woodall, Vidor; Kyle Bohler, Beaumont; and Justin Hargrove, Orange.

Rhythm: Jarvis Bennett (piano), Lufkin; Chris Buxton (bass), Lumberton; and Jacob Hollier (drums), Nederland.

Season tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for (K-12) students and include admission to all five concerts in the2011-2012season. Individual tickets, $18 for adults and $12 for (K-12) students, will be available in the theatre box office before the performance. Admission is free to students of Lamar University upon presentation of their LU ID. TheLamarissimo!Concert Series is presented by the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music at Lamar University. Call (409) 880-8144 for additional information.