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1980s Fredonia Jazz Ensemble reunites for Saturday concert
Monday, November 04, 2013

1980s Fredonia Jazz Ensemble reunites for Saturday concert

1980s Fredonia Jazz Ensemble

The 1980s Fredonia Jazz Ensemble (FJE) will return to campus to perform their annual free alumni reunion concert in Rosch Recital Hall on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m.  For many members, this will be their first return to campus since the late 1980s. Russell Partrick, who continues to serve as manager of the band says, “The members are excited about returning to campus after at least 23 years.” Several members have returned to campus during the time their children have attended SUNY Fredonia.

During the 1980s, the ensemble was directed by Pat Patterson, John Coggiola (now on the faculty of Syracuse University) Kevin Peters, Wayne Davison and Mike Willis. The group traveled to various jazz competitions and festivals across the United States and Canada including the Epcot Center, the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, and festivals in Oakland, California and Vancouver and Toronto. 

At each festival the ensemble received numerous awards for excellence.

For the past four years the ensemble has staged reunion concerts in Syracuse (NY). The concerts were attended by SUNY Fredonia Alumni Director Patricia Feraldi and Dr. Linda Phillips, former advisor to the 1980s group. As Dr. Phillips states, “The ensemble is like a family and was a support to members during their college years just like a real family would be.” Last year’s concert was a continuation of the family when three children of the members performing in the concert alongside their parents. 

This year’s reunion concert will feature the 2013-2014 Fredonia Jazz Ensemble, directed by Chris Zatorski as the opening band. Playing tunes by Dizzie Gillespie and Duke Ellington, FJE will continue the tradition of performing tunes and arrangements by band members playing selections by last year’s director Mike McGough and former band member Don Menza, who left Fredonia to play with the Maynard Ferguson band.The 1980s FJE will feature tunes by Count Basie, Don Menza, Rob McConnell, Neal Hefti and Joe Zawinul. 

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