LEWISBURG, Pa. — The original members of the Bucknell Jazz & Rock Ensemble (BJRE) will perform in concert Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.
The performance, which is free to the public, will be recorded for the group's next CD.
The concert performance, "Mid Life Crisis Tour," will feature a repertoire of popular American music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. In addition to "charts" originally written for BJRE, the ensemble features the music of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, the Andrews Sisters, Bobby Darin, Buddy Rich, Chicago, the Grassroots, Blues Brothers, Diana Ross, Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchel, Don Ellis and Maynard Ferguson.
An international following
Formed in 1971with 21 musicians and five singers, BJRE gained an international following through its extensive touring throughout North America and Europe. In 1974, they became the first U.S. university jazz ensemble to tour behind the Iron Curtain with sold-out performances in East Berlin and Prague.
BJRE is directed by 1975 Bucknell graduate Dory Vanderhoof, who trained as a saxophonist, music director and arranger. Vanderhoof played back-up for many artists including Bobby Rydell, the Coasters, the Drifters, the Platters, and Little Anthony and the Imperials.
Twenty-three of the original 25 musicians and singers will be returning for the "Mid Life Crisis Tour" performance, including the original women's trio of Jill Sanders, Jane Fisher and Susan Landskroener. Members will be traveling from across the country and Canada to participate in the performance.
Celebrating a golden era
According to Vanderhoof, the band's original members, who last performed together in Lewisburg in June 1974, decided to get together after 33 years to celebrate a "golden era" in their lives and share the excitement of their popular blending of American jazz and rock music.
"Although less than a third of the band's members have continued to play professionally, the group has been rehearsing this show for more than a year," said Vanderhoof.
Keyboard player Jeff Morrow (Rollin’ Toad), says, "We’re bigger and better than ever, (referring to the expanded girth of the 50+ year old musicians) but we’re still able to bring the house down!"
For more information or to hear music samples, visit www.bjre.org
Posted June 14, 2007
Media contact: Kathryn Kopchik, 570-577-3618