The Xavier University Jazz Ensemble has entertained audiences for 20 years, doing it the old fashioned way. Those with the instruments sit on stage and play. Those who have come to hear them sit in rows of stiff-backed chairs and listen politely.
For six concert dates this year, the Jazz Ensemble will transform their venues into Jazz Clubs. Instead of neat rows of chairs, fans will be seated at tables and can bring snacks and beverages. Listeners can imagine they are listening to Charlie Parker at Birdland, Dizzy Gillespie at the Blue Note, or even B.B. King at The Palladium.
Friday, October 16 at 7:30 pm in the Atrium of Xavier’s Gallagher Student Center FREE
Friday, October 30 at 7:30 pm in Ryan’s Pub in the Gallagher Student Center FREE
Sundays November 8 and 22 at 8:15 pm in Xavier’s Edgecliff Recital Hall FREE
Friday, December 4 at 7:00 pm at the Lyric 8907 Reading Road (This venue includes a $5 charge which includes admission, music, snacks, ice and soft drinks and you can BYOB.)
The Xavier University Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of John DeFoor. The group has a 25th anniversary CD in the works and has released four CDs: Rara Avis (1999), Big Bad Band (2002), Jammin’ With an Attitude (2004), Sweet Love (2006), and Make Me Smile (due soon).
DeFoor has been a performer, arranger, composer, critic, historian, conductor and educator since the 1950s. He played and arranged for bands including Billy May, Woody Herman, Les Brown and Harry James. He has taught at Xavier since 1983, where he has been the principal designer of jazz courses and the director for the Jazz Ensemble while continuing to participate in the development of contemporary idioms. DeFoor has led his band, Rara Avis, at the NFL commissioner’s annual pre-Super Bowl party since Super Bowl XI in 1977. In 2008, he was asked to direct the National Jazz Band during the Jan. 20 inauguration ceremonies for then President-Elect Barack Obama.