Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra to Appear at Center for the Arts

Posted: February 25, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, directed by George Mason’s own Jim Carroll, will perform at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m.

The orchestra features an all-star lineup of the area’s finest jazz musicians, including Rick Whitehead on guitar, Charlie Young on sax, Delores King Williams on vocals, and Tom Williams on jazz trumpet. The orchestra performs works from the Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, and Woody Herman libraries.

Orchestra leader Carroll, who is director of Jazz Studies at George Mason, has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the White House, Yokohama Stadium, the Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall, and the Apollo Theatre. A versatile performer, he has worked with Michael Jackson, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, Maynard Ferguson, Billy Taylor, Zoot Sims, Keter Betts, the Columbus Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Indiana Saxophone Quartet, Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd, the Jazz Arts Group, the Great American Music Ensemble, and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterwork Orchestra. He also teaches at the Jamey Abersold jazz clinics.

Special guest Delores King Williams is a Baltimore native who studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She currently performs musical political satire as a featured member of The Capitol Steps. Other performance highlights include international appearances at the North Sea, Montreux, Nice, and Vienna Jazz Festivals. She participated in the Australian tour of Porgy and Bess with the Washington Opera Company and concerts with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Winner of a Downbeat magazine award for Best Student Recording, Williams was a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition and winner of the Billie Holiday Vocal Competition. She is also a former member of the United States Army Band.

Charlie Young, professor of music at Howard University, is equally at home in the worlds of classical and jazz. He brings experience as a principal saxophone with the National Symphony and lead alto with the Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks orchestras. In addition, he has performed or recorded with the East Coast Saxophone Quartet, the Charlie Young Quintet, Keter Betts, Blues Alley Big Band, James Moody, Ron Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Foster, Red Garland, Barry Harris, Roland Hanna, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Powell, Zoot Simms, and Joe Wilder.

Rick Whitehead, featured guitar soloist for the U.S. Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note for 22 years, toured with the group throughout the United States, Far East, and South America. With the Airmen, Whitehead performed and recorded with Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Sue Raney, and guitarists Mundell Lowe, Johnny Smith, and Roy Clark. He also worked with Dianne Schuur, Billy Taylor and Charlie Byrd. He is an adjunct professor of guitar at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va., and also teaches in his home studio.

An artistic discussion, free to ticket holders, is held 45 minutes prior to the curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier. Tickets are $36, $28, and $18, and all children 12 and under are half price. For this performance, faculty and staff can also purchase tickets at the box office at half price with a George Mason ID. Or, charge tickets by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com.

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