• Monday , 19 February 2018

The Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band Kicks off its Second Jazzy Season

Story, photos by Lou Perri

The Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band kicked off its second season as Stockton University’s Jazz Orchestra in Residence with “A Night of Jazz Standards” on Monday, Oct. 26 in the Campus Center Theatre on the Galloway campus.

The concert was the first of four concerts to be performed by the high-energy, 16-piece jazz ensemble comprised of some of Atlantic City’s finest showroom musicians.

“Jazz is the only truly American art form,” Ed Vezinho told Explore NJ. “The guys in the band use jazz as a means of self expression. We love jazz. We strive to inspire and educate others about the beauty that we hear when we listen to or perform jazz.

“The selections performed,” he continued, “Come from repertoire made famous by legendary jazz performs such as Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and many others. These songs have certain captivating elements such as there enticing melodies and enriching harmonies. We play them not only because we enjoy to, but to appreciate the genius of their original performers. We play them in our own style, something different than the original. This is what jazz is about.  The freedom to improvise and enjoy.  We featured  all the guys in the band as well as Dr. Michael Pedicin. We hope that the audience enjoyed the presentation.”

“After a very successful 2014-2015 season as Stockton University’s Jazz Orchestra in Residence, the Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band is excited to continue its concert series for the 2015-2016 school year,” said Vezinho, co-band leader and adjunct professor of Music. “This year we will be presenting new compositions and arrangements as well as hosting guest artists.”

The band plays original compositions and arrangements in a contemporary big band style.  The ensemble, originally founded in 1982, plays jazz festivals and clubs in and around the tri-state area. With the release of their three CDs, the band has received much acclaim both nationally and abroad. Their music can be heard on over 100 jazz radio stations throughout the United States as well as in Great Britain and Australia. “A Night of Jazz Standards” feature songs such as, “Stolen Moments,” “Blues March,” “It Could Happen to You,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Melancholy Rhapsody.”

General admission for the show is $15, senior citizens are $10 and students are $8; tickets can be ordered online at www.stockton.edu/pac or by calling the Box Office at (609)-652-9000. The upcoming concerts, which all take place in the Campus Center Theatre at 101 Vera King Farris Drive, will be performed on Nov. 16, Feb. 29 and April 18. The concerts in November and April will also feature the Stockton University Vocal Jazz Ensemble. For patrons with special needs, the Campus Center Theatre offers wheelchair accessible seating, listening assistive devices, and large type programs. Please make your needs known when purchasing tickets.

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The Campus Center Theatre. Shawn Manuola is hospitality manager.

The Campus Center Theatre. Shawn Manuola is hospitality manager.

Ed Vezinho, the Big Band leader and co-founder, welcomes guests to the Campus Center Theatre.

Ed Vezinho, the Big Band leader and co-founder, welcomes guests to the Campus Center Theatre.

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Joe Rotella on tenor sax soloed on "Someday My Prince Will Come" He played for the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra for 19 years.

Joe Rotella on tenor sax soloed on “Someday My Prince Will Come.” He played for the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra for 19 years.

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Michael Natale, a South Philadelphia resident, also is a member of the music department at Temple University.

Michael Natale, a South Philadelphia resident, also is a member of the music department at Temple University.

Alto sax player Howard Isaacson teaches at the Joyce Miller School in Egg Harbor Twnshp. We features him on flute during the 2nd tune ( All of Me ) and the Coltrane tune "Song of the Underground Railroad" in which he played alto sax.

Alto sax player Howard Isaacson teaches at the Joyce Miller School in Egg Harbor Twnshp. We features him on flute during the 2nd tune (All of Me) and the Coltrane tune “Song of the Underground Railroad” in which he played alto sax.

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 Denis DiBlasio on bari sax was Maynard Ferguson's musical director for 5 years and now is the head of the jazz program at Rowan University.

Denis DiBlasio on bari sax was Maynard Ferguson’s musical director for 5 years and now is the head of the jazz program at Rowan University.

 Joe Jacobs on bass trombone teaches music at the Ventnor Educational Comple

Joe Jacobs on bass trombone teaches music at the Ventnor Educational Comple.

John Guida on tenor sax retired after 30 years with the Vineland public school district and was featured on numerous tunes.

John Guida on tenor sax retired after 30 years with the Vineland public school district and was featured on numerous tunes.

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Dr Michael Pedicin Jazz artist in residence

Dr Michael Pedicin, Jazz artist in residence.

Dr Michael Pedicin Jazz artist in residence, performed at th jazz event.

Dr Michael Pedicin, Jazz artist in residence, performed at th jazz event.

Pianist Demetri Pappas tours as musical director for Smokey Robinson.

Pianist Demetri Pappas tours as musical director for Smokey Robinson.

Ed Vezinho in the saxophone section and Big Band leader.

Ed Vezinho in the saxophone section and Big Band leader.

 Joe Scannella is very active in the performing scene and teaches privately in the Medford area. He tours as lead trumpet for Steve Lippia and Victor Vanacore.

Joe Scannella is very active in the performing scene and teaches privately in the Medford area. He tours as lead trumpet for Steve Lippia and Victor Vanacore.

On bass is Douglas Mapp, professor of bass at Rowan University

On bass is Douglas Mapp, professor of bass at Rowan University.

Drummer Mike Nigro was Al Martino's drummer for almost 30 years.

Drummer Mike Nigro was Al Martino’s drummer for almost 30 years.

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Dr. Pedicin in an encore.

Dr. Pedicin in an encore.

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The Big Band takes a bow.

The Big Band takes a bow.

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