The 21-piece ensemble is under the direction of Rick Simerly, associate professor of music at Milligan, and will feature renowned tenor saxophonist Ziad Rabie, of Charlotte, N.C.
“We are very fortunate to have a musician of Ziad’s ability joining us for our spring concert,” Simerly said.
Rabie graduated from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and philosophy. He studied saxophone under legendary jazz educator Jerry Coker, along with theory and composition with Bill Hanna, a veteran of the Woody Herman and Stan Kenton Orchestra. He has performed with several artists, including Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Kim Waters.
His distinctive saxophone sound has been recorded on more than 20 albums of various jazz, rock and Gospel artists. Rabie’s featured saxophone solo on James Brown’s album, “Next Step,” received critical acclaim.
The Milligan Jazz Ensemble consists of Milligan students, as well as students and adults from throughout the region. They will perform a variety of songs from the libraries of some of the great jazz composers of our time, such as Maynard Ferguson, Charles Mingus, Count Basie, Chick Corea, Horace Silver, Eddie Harris and John Coltrane.
“We are looking forward to a fun evening of music that will showcase the Milligan Jazz Ensemble as well as our guest artist,” Simerly said. “Our program has such a variety of music, we think it will appeal to everyone.”
For more information, call the music office at (423) 461-8723. To learn more about Milligan, visit www.milligan.edu.