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Jazz in the Arts to feature husband-wife jazz duo

Last Modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012 6:02 PM

By Jordan Gribble / Special to the American Press

The Central School Arts and Humanities Center’s Ben Mount Theatre will be filled with blue notes and the sweet sounds of jazz during the Jazz in the Arts concert, featuring the husband-and-wife duos of the Shengs and the Daigles.

“Our main focus is to raise awareness of jazz music in the community,” said Pat Daigle, event coordinator and wife of musician Chester Daigle. “We’re seeing what we can do to help schools create programs to educate students on the jazz genre.”

Patrick Sheng, McNeese State University director of jazz studies, said it is important for him to help preserve the jazz tradition in Louisiana, which is often considered the birthplace of the genre.

“Improvisation is one of the key features of jazz, and although improvisation is present in almost all types of music, it is often overlooked in traditional public education settings,” he said. “Improvisation is one of the most creative forms of music-making, which should be explored by all music students to develop artistic and creative growth.”

Sheng will perform with his wife, trombonist Crystal Hayes. Among the tunes they will do are “A Night in Tunisia,” “Witch Hunt” and “Spain.”

“I look forward to the performance, because it is always a pleasure to perform with the Lake Area’s finest jazz musicians such as Chester Daigle, Jay Ecker, Jeff Simon, James ‘Dollar’ Bill and Sylvia Hankin,” Sheng said.

Admission to the concert — which is at 5 p.m. Sunday — will cost $10. Proceeds will benefit the Jazz in the Arts Foundation and the Chester Daigle scholarship. The $1,000 annual award is given to a high school student who plans to go into music or jazz studies.

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