The Northwestern State University Jazz Orchestra will hold an Alumni Reunion Friday, Oct. 26. The reunion is among the many events taking place during NSU’s Homecoming Weekend.
“This will be a great opportunity to reconnect with many of our alumni that helped build our Jazz Orchestra over the years,” said Jazz Orchestra Director Galindo Rodriguez. “Many of them have gone on to rewarding careers in music, education and other fields. It’s nice to know that their participation in the Jazz Orchestra helped them build a foundation for success.”
The reunion begins with a rehearsal from 10 a.m. to noon in Varnado Hall. After lunch, alumni will visit campus including Creative and Performing Arts classrooms and observe student ensembles.
At 5:30 p.m., there will be a soundcheck in the amphitheater at the Alumni Courtyard followed by a 6:30 p.m. concert by Jazz Orchestra alumni. Featured guest artists will be Carlos Ortiz IV on jazz trumpet and vocalist D’Nissa Hester.
Northwestern State Jazz Orchestra was rated as an Outstanding Band at the 2017 Loyola Jazz Festival held in New Orleans. The Jazz Orchestra has worked with artists including Ellis Marsalis, Byron Stripling, Jessy J, Mike Williams from the Count Basie Orchestra, Tony Dagradi, Graham Breedlove, Ted Partin, Mike Vax and Matt Niess from the Jazz Army Blues. The Jazz Orchestra has also performed with Daniel Johnson, Mike Tomaro, Bob Kase, Trent Austin, Allen Vizzutti, Bill Watrous, Bill Causey Jr., Rodney Whitaker, Andy Pizzo, Mike Steinel, Ingrid Jensen, Ray Vasquez and Warren Wolf. Rodriguez has also brought to Natchitoches Maynard Ferguson and Big Bop Nouveau, The U. S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, The U.S. Air Force Falconaires, Dimensions in Blue and the Astral Project Jazz Qunitet.
The Jazz Orchestra performs at the annual Christmas Gala along with a full concert schedule.