The St. Louis Brass Quintet, one of the country’s oldest ensembles of its kind, opens Lawrence University’s 2013-14 Jazz Series Friday, October 11 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.
Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.
Originally formed in 1964 by members of the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Louis Brass’ current lineup features Melvyn Jernigan, the only founding member still in the group, on trombone, Allan Dean and Ray Sasaki on trumpet, Thomas Bacon on horn and Daniel Perantoni on tuba.
While the quintet has performed more than 2,700 engagements in its 41-year history, this will be its first appearance at Lawrence.
Each artist boasts a distinguished resume outside the quintet. Dean, Sasaki and Perantoni are professors of music at Yale, the University of Texas and Indiana University, respectively. Bacon appears alongside Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong in the book “Twentieth Century Brass Soloists.” In addition to St. Louis Brass, Jernigan also was a founding member of the internationally renowned Summit Brass.
The quintet’s repertoire spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods to contemporary works as well as popular Western music and jazz arrangements of Ellington/Strayhorn, Gershwin and Cole Porter standards. More than 75 compositions have been written or arranged for the group, which has released two albums, six CDs and a DVD.
The SLBQ annually plays three, 10-day concert tours across the United States and also has performed throughout the world, including India, Japan, Mexico, Norway and Sweden. Though the quintet has received international acclaim, its unique identity as a St. Louis mainstay is among its distinct characteristic. Hometown newspaper St. Louis Post-Dispatch deemed the quintet “a wonderful ensemble, both in the technical sense and as an atmosphere that emanates from the stage.”
James DeCorsey, horn professor at Lawrence, echoes that assessment.
“Saint Louis Brass is one of the most distinguished brass ensembles in the world,” said DeCorsey. “My colleagues and I have enormous respect for these elite musicians, each of whom is an outstanding teacher as well as virtuoso performer. These wonderful brass players always connect strongly with the audience, who can expect to hear a varied and sophisticated program delivered with charm, vibrancy and a touch of humor.”
Lawrence University, "Acclaimed St. Louis Brass Quintet Opens Lawrence’s 2013-14 Artist Series" (2013). Press Releases. 97.