Concert to Celebrate Female Jazz Artists 

PosterOct. 7, 2016  

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— A concert celebrating the music of women in vocal jazz will be presented Oct. 18 at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Head of Music Education Andrew Dahan said the University’s intellectual theme “Women’s Power, Women’s Justice” inspired him to reflect upon how much of his jazz ensemble’s music is written by men. “Many talented performers, composers and arrangers are women in the vocal jazz world, so I decided to build a concert around that idea and program songs that were written or arranged by women,” said Dahan, visiting instructor of music education. He also noted 2016 is the 20th anniversary of the death of Ella Fitzgerald, one of the most iconic jazz vocalists and improvisers, so a concert reacquainting the audience with her music and that of others seemed even more apropos, he said.

The vocal jazz ensemble Unlicensed Syncopation will perform works ranging form Sara Bareilles’ Kaleidoscope Heart/Bluebird to She, recorded by contemporary British soul singer/songwriter Laura Mvula. A second IWU vocal jazz ensemble, Fridays at Noon, will sing Dear Ella and Unwritten. Dahan noted that so many students auditioned for Unlicensed Syncopation he decided to create a second ensemble. “This year, Fridays at Noon is made up of all women, which allows us to explore different repertoire than with Unlicensed Syncopation,” Dahan said.

The program also includes three selections by Jazz Voices of Normal Community West High School, under the direction of Sara Williams.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. at Illinois Wesleyan’s Westbrook Auditorium, inside Presser Hall (1210 Park St., Bloomington). The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the School of Music at (309) 556-3061.