Drake jazz alumni called to the stage for an encore performance

The month of April has been featured in jazz standards such as Count Basie’s “I’ll Remember April” and Charlie Parker’s “April in Paris.” This April, Drake’s first-ever All Jazz Reunion will provide a new standard for alumni who kept a backbeat or improvised a solo during their time at the University.

Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center

The two-day reunion will take place in the newly constructed Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center, a testament to the vitality of Drake’s jazz program as well as the impact of alumni generosity. Participants will reconnect with old friends and reassemble their instruments to form the Drake Alumni Jazz Band, which will give its premiere performance as part of the center’s opening gala.

On Friday, April 15, alumni will gather for a jam session held from 9 p.m. to midnight. Hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine will be available for purchase.

The following day — Saturday, April 16 — brunch will be served from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Levitt Hall in Old Main. Immediately following the brunch, the musicians will gather for a rehearsal in the Turner Center until noon.

That evening, the Drake Alumni Jazz Band will perform alongside Drake’s Jazz Ensemble One as part of the Turner Center’s Opening Gala, an exclusive and formal celebration of the University’s jazz program and the state-of-the-art Turner Center. Read more about the center, which was completed in December, online.

The gala will begin at 7:30 p.m., and both jazz ensembles will be directed by Andrew Classen, the Fred and Patty Turner professor of jazz studies at Drake.

To RSVP and to join the band, call 515-271-4539 or register at www.alumni.drake.edu/jazzreunion by April 8.

— Stella Hart

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