BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – West Virginia Wesleyan College is pleased to announce an Evening of Jazz with the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra as part of the Presidential Inauguration and Homecoming celebration. The concert takes place on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
Dr. James Moore, the College’s 20th president, will perform on trumpet with the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra (PJO) as part of his inauguration week activities. He is a member of PJO and section leader for trumpets.
The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra was originally founded in 1975 by Dr. Nathan T. Davis, a world renowned jazz saxophonist and director of jazz studies at the University of Pittsburgh. The group was conceived as a vehicle for the celebration and furtherance of America’s original art form.
After several years, the ensemble disbanded, but was revived with Dr. Davis’ blessing by trumpeter Sean Jones in 2008. Jones assembled some of Pittsburgh’s finest young and veteran musicians and refocused the orchestra, which became the house ensemble of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center from 2008 through 2013. In addition to celebrating the music and arrangements of jazz music’s pivotal creators, the ensemble also features the music of one of its members, Mike Tomaro, lead-alto saxophonist and director of jazz studies at Duquesne University. Tomaro is widely considered one of the preeminent writers in jazz today.
Since its revival, PJO has recorded and performed with some of the most important musicians in the history of jazz, including Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Freddie Cole, Hubert Law, and Rufus Reid.
For this special inauguration concert, Dr. Moore has selected a program that will feature some of his favorite pieces from the PJO repertoire, and will include many of what he considers Mike Tomaro’s best arrangements. Moore has also commissioned a special piece of music to commemorate his inauguration and to celebrate the rich history of jazz at WVWC.
Admission to the concert is free and the public is invited to attend and enjoy this historic event at West Virginia Wesleyan College.