PLEASE NOTE: The start/end date above is NOT the event date. This event will be held Nov. 19.
JOHNSON CITY – The East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Band will join the Milligan College Jazz Ensemble in “Jazz Meets Bluegrass,” a concert to be held Monday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium of Milligan’s Seeger Memorial Chapel.
These two ensembles will join together to produce a unique combination of musical styles.
“Jazz and bluegrass have a lot more in common than people might realize,” said Rick Simerly, associate professor of music at Milligan. “Both are great examples of true American music that contain an important element of improvisation.”
The Milligan Jazz Ensemble is comprised of students and adults from throughout the region, serving the dual role of a college ensemble and a community jazz band.
Rick Simerly, who directs the Jazz Ensemble, teaches a variety of music courses and leads the jazz studies emphasis in music at Milligan. He has toured with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and performed with such entertainers as Frank Sinatra Jr., Gladys Knight, The O’Jays, The Commodores, The Temptations, The Four Tops and the late Bob Hope, Red Skelton and Lou Rawls.
Simerly has also produced numerous recordings and two solo jazz CDs. He regularly performs clinics and concerts throughout the United States and is a veteran instructor at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops.
“Rick Simerly is known by music lovers in the Tri-Cities area and beyond for his work with many great jazz acts, including the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra,” said Daniel Boner, director of Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies at ETSU. “Milligan College has an invaluable resource, and I’m excited about this opportunity to trade some ‘notes’ with Rick.”
Boner’s musical credits include performances at Saint Peter’s Basilica, NATO Headquarters, the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival, the Grand Ole Opry and the White House. His music can be heard on more than 50 recordings, including his solo album entitled “The Gospel Way” and his production of David Grindstaff’s “Here and Now.”
Boner has performed onstage with many bluegrass and Grand Ole Opry stars, including Ralph Stanley, Jesse McReynolds, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs and the late Porter Wagoner.
The ETSU Bluegrass Band stems from Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies at the university. It is the oldest established program of its kind at any four-year institution.
The concert is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to benefit both departments.
For more information, call (423) 439-8582 at ETSU or 461-8723 at Milligan.