ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from JCJC
JC Jazz and JC Voices, two of the small ensemble student groups at Jones County Junior College will continue a fourteen year tradition with its annual Java & Jazz concert on Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the Banquet Hall of the C.L. Neill Student Center. This free concert will feature works by Irving Berlin, Sy Oliver, Glenn Martin, Don Menza and Tito Puente, among others. In addition, JC Jazz director, Jeff Brown will premiere an original tune entitled, "A Tune for Jude and Malcolm."
JC Voices, directed by Fine Arts Division Chair, Dr. Susan Smith, promises to delight the crowd with vocal selections originally written for the popular quartet, Manhattan Transfer. The group had the unique experience of working with one of the original artists, Laurel Massé over the weekend. She offered her advice and expertise as the group rehearsed songs performed by the jazz quartet, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Trickle, Trickle, and Java Jive. Students were excited about this opportunity and were grateful to be exposed to an artist that helped start the vocal jazz revolution in the 1970's.
"It's not often you get to work with someone who has won a Grammy award!" said sophomore, Lauryn Easley of Laurel. She continued, "I have really enjoyed learning these pieces, they are fun to sing and it's a challenge for us since the style and range are so different than the other repertoire we have recently performed."
This year's Java & Jazz concert will be a quite special and perhaps a little melancholy as it will be Jeff Brown's last jazz concert here at Jones as he begins retirement after teaching at Jones for 33 years.
"The years surely do go by fast! I have been lucky to teach so many great students over the years. Jones Junior College is a part of me and I will hold the faces and memories of those students in my heart always. I have also been lucky enough to have been there at the exact moment that some of my students have learned something new - you can tell by the way the expression on their faces change and when they say, 'Wow! I get it now!' Most of the time students learn gradually and you may only notice progress over a period of days or weeks. To be there to witness that change of expression is rare and when it happens it gives you a feeling that you will cherish forever."
Bass player and guitar major from Soso, Dustin Logan, is one of Brown's students in JC Jazz who has enjoyed playing in this type of ensemble.
"I don't think there's anything he doesn't know! He's so insightful," said Logan.
Brown's contributions to the Fine Arts Department at Jones have been immeasurable. Fine Arts Division Chair, Dr. Susan Smith recalls a student years ago who asked if Brown was "the head music dude." She said, "The term has affectionately stuck over the years. "His experience and wisdom will be missed but we have his phone numbers if we need them!"