November 20, 2012

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell Jazz Band and the Zeropoint Big Band will perform a free holiday concert Monday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell.

The centerpiece of the concert will be a rare, complete performance of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's adaptation of "The Nutcracker," according to Barry Long, assistant professor of music.

"This is a rare opportunity to hear Ellington and Strayhorn's wonderful adaptation in its entirety. Each were at their creative peaks when this was originally recorded in 1960 and their work with Tchaikovsky's timeless material is irresistible." [visit for an original excerpt by the Ellington band]

In addition to other holiday favorites, the concert also will include the premiere of two new works by Bucknell sophomore music major Christian Humcke and State College drummer and composer Kevin Lowe.

"I can think of no greater tribute to Duke Ellington's legacy than to premiere brand new music on the same concert. The Bucknell Jazz Band commissions new music every year and we are excited to share Kevin's work. The group is also thrilled to feature Christian's latest chart alongside Duke's masterworks," said Long.

The Zeropoint Big Band is a professional ensemble featuring many of the region's finest jazz musicians and educators including pianist Steve Rudolph, bassist Jeff Beck, drummer Kevin Lowe, saxophonists Dan Yoder and Rick Hirsch, and brass players Jay Vonada, Paul Leskowicz, Eddie Severn, as well as Bucknell faculty members Barry Long and Dale Orris. Their recent collaboration with composer James Witherite can be found online at Amazon, iTunes, and CDBaby.

Contact: Division of Communications

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