Morgantown’s premier Big Band Jazz ensemble coming to Fairmont State

The Fairmont State Department of Music is excited to welcome the Morgantown Jazz Orchestra to Fairmont State for a one-night concert at 7:30 p.m. on November 15th in Colebank Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Known as North Central West Virginia’s premier Big Band, the band consists of some of the finest “local” jazz musicians that North Central West Virginia has to offer. Members come from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland to create an extensive and diverse program that audience members are sure to enjoy. All of the current members have a vast array of experience and exciting performing resumes in their own right.

The Morgantown Jazz Orchestra was the “brainchild” of Artistic Director and Trumpeter Neil L. King and Co-Leader and Drummer Mark Cappellini. King and Cappellini wanted to form a group comprised of jazz musicians with solid solo and ensemble playing skills and abilities. Their vision was to create a group that could not only focus on playing straight-ahead standard bop and post-bop jazz, but also be comfortable in today’s contemporary and Latin styles. With a wide array of experience, members of this premier band have performed with many talented musicians including, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, The Temptations, Bobby Vinton, Benny Golson, Christian McBride, The US Army Blues, Stanley Turrentine, and Maynard Ferguson to name a few.

The band is billed as a “Little Big Band,” comprised of six horns and a standard rhythm section. This configuration affords a traditional big band ensemble texture while maintaining a small group jazz solo vibe with a three-member rhythm section. Members include, Neil L. King, Artistic Director/Trumpet of Fairmont, WV; Mark Cappellini, Co-Director/Drums of Morgantown, WV; Rich Norwood, Alto Sax of Elkins, WV; Mike Tomaro, Tenor Sax/Arranger of Pittsburgh, PA; Dr. Jared Sims, Bari Sax of Morgantown, WV; Dr. Keith Jackson, Trombone of Morgantown, WV; Joe Badaczewski, Trumpet of Pittsburgh, PA; Paul Thompson, Bass of Pittsburgh, PA; and Tom Harrison, Piano of Cumberland, MD.

The group is fortunate to feature arranger, Michael Tomaro. Audience members will hear many of Tomaro’s arrangements as well as his fine tenor saxophone playing. Tomaro is one of the preeminent arrangers today. His music is played by professional, service, college, and high school bands across the country. He is also the current director of jazz studies at Duquesne University and is a past member of the US Army Blues Jazz Ensemble.

The Morgantown Jazz Orchestra hopes that you enjoy the eclectic program of Americas true music, Jazz!

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