April 26, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble will perform its annual spring concert at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 8, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The flagship concert in a series of springtime Jazz at Amherst performances, the program will feature big band arrangements by Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, Matt Harris, Phil Woods, Neil Hefti and Gil Evans. It is free and open to the public. At the end of the concert, the Jazz at Amherst program will honor the seniors involved in the Amherst College Jazz Ensemble and the various jazz combos.

The concert will present the world premiere of David Springfield’s “The Art of the Matter,” commissioned by the Amherst College Jazz Ensemble as part of the McBride Commission Project. The McBride Commission Project, named for jazz enthusiast and Jazz at Amherst supporter Robin McBride ’59, offers Amherst College jazz students a chance to interact with a noted jazz composer and more closely observe the creative process of composition.

The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble consists of more than 20 Amherst College students under the direction of Bruce Diehl. The band performs throughout the year both at Amherst College and elsewhere in Western Massachusetts, playing jazz standards and contemporary big band arrangements. For more information about Jazz at Amherst, visit http://www.amherst.edu/~jazz or contact Bruce Diehl at 413/542-8308.