LU News Archive

Lamarissimo! Concert Series features Jimmy Simmons

lamarisimoThe 23rd season of the Lamarissimo! Concert Series opens Thursday, Nov. 8, with the Lamar Jazz Ensemble and special guest performances by Lamar University President Jimmy Simmons. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Julie Rogers Theatre.

“We’re thrilled to have Dr. Simmons and his combo play at the jazz concert because Jimmy Simmons is a name that is synonymous with jazz in Southeast Texas,” said Scott Deppe, director of bands. “Fans of jazz will also be pleased with the wide variety of music including Big Band, swing, funk and Latin. There should be something for everyone’s taste and style.”

The concert, which is sponsored by American Valve and Hydrant, opens with a rousing performance of Frank Foster’s “Go’n An’ Git It Y’all,” and then segues into “Theme from Summer of '42” by Michel Legrand, arranged by Tommy Newsom. French composer Legrand won the 1971 Academy Award for best score for his work on the film “Summer of ’42.” Other selections include “Sing, Sing, Sing,” by Louis Prima, also arranged by Newsom; “Lullaby of Birdland,” by George Shearing, arranged by Lennie Niehaus; and “Wave,” arranged by Wayne Dyess, Lamar’s director of jazz studies, who is currently on medical leave.

 “It’s been an enlightening experience to work with these students in a different genre of music,” said Deppe, who is filling in for Dyess by directing the concert. “They have really stepped up and worked above and beyond the call of duty. I’m proud of where we are in preparation for the performance.”

Students in the Lamar Jazz Ensemble include:

Saxophones: Caleb Frost, Nederland; Matthew Ryan Holland, Mont Belvieu; L. Wayne Oliver Jr., Port Arthur; Julie Parra, Dallas; Kevin Rash, Saginaw; Josh Slaten, Orange.

Trumpets: Jonathan Blake, Westlake, La.; Andrew Guidry, Bridge City; Ramon Gutierrez, Aldine; George Hernandez, Nederland; Will Poppe, Houston; Robert White IV, Beaumont.

Trombones: Marissa Bell, Vidor; Justin Hargraves, Orange; Eric Rose, Nederland; Joshua Safar, Vidor; Casey White, Port Neches; Carl Woodall, Vidor.

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

Season tickets are $45 for adults and $20 for (K-12) students and include admission to all four concerts in the 2012-13 season.  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.

The Lamarissimo! Concert Series is presented by the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music at Lamar. The series continues Sunday, Dec. 2, with the popular holiday choir concert featuring the A Cappella Choir and Grand Chorus. Other concert dates include the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band performing on Thursday, March 7, 2013, and the Cardinal Singers on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Call (409) 880-8144 for additional information.