Free Jazz concert with guest soloist this Thursday

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BYU’s Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band is performing a free concert with guest soloist, John Gunther, Nov. 1 on campus in the Madsen Recital Hall.

Steve Call, the professor and leader of the band, has known Gunther for several years.

[John Gunther] John Gunther posing with his saxophone.
“He’s a very versatile artist on the saxophone and clarinet,” Call said.

Gunther is an associate professor of jazz studies at the University of Colorado. He received his bachelor’s degree in music performance from Berklee College of Music, and also has a master’s degree in jazz studies from the University of Miami. Throughout his career, Gunther has had the opportunity to perform with other artists and ensambles such as Buddy DeFranco, Joe Williams, the Maria Schneider Orchestra and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Among with Gunther’s many accomplishments, Call said he is also recognized as a great teacher.

Jory Woodis, 26, a saxophone performance major and member of the band, feels grateful to be at a school like BYU with a great musical reputation and great faculty.

“The most exciting and inspiring experiences I’ve had at BYU have been the opportunities to play with world class musicians like John Gunther and others,” Woodis said.

Woodis also explained that being able to play with a musician like Gunther is humbling and exciting at the same time.

Call explained that while Gunther will be playing with the Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band, he will do some teaching at BYU as well, and will also make a recording for BYU Radio on Friday morning.

“We’re keeping him busy,” Call said.

Zach Williams, 24, a jazz piano major and third year member in the band, is looking forward to the experience.

“I think it will be a lot of fun,” Williams said.

Williams also said Gunther specializes in a historical approach to the saxophone, which makes him stand out as an artist.

Call said it is easy to hear the traditional jazz style of earlier musicians in Gunther’s playing, and that many artists are not able to do this today.

The Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band performs on campus twice a year with guest soloists and performs at various events outside of cmapus. Six students make up the band, and their music style has been defined as approachable and happy.

The concert this Thursday is at 7:30 p.m.

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