Spelman College Jazz Ensemble's unique combination of vocalists, wind instrumentalists, and rhythm section has thrilled and excited audiences across the country with their innovative and soulful sound. Organized in 1983 under the leadership of its founder and original director, Joe Jennings, this talented, nationally-renowned, all-female jazz ensemble has toured throughout the United States, and has shared the stage with jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Consuela Lee, Nancy Wilson, Leroy Jenkins, Valerie Capers, the Straight Ahead Jazz Quartet, the Uptown Sting Quartet, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Regina Carter. Today, the ensemble is directed by Ralph M. Jones, III. Jones earned his Masters degree in African- American Studies and his B.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, where he also studied the hichiriki with Japanese Gagaku master Togi. The Spelman Jazz Ensemble salutes great African American female vocalist as well as great spontaneous composers and their compositions. As they perform pieces by legendary artists such as Nina Simone, Phyliss Hyman, Abbey Lincoln and Mary Lou Williams, along with Dr. Yusef Lateef, audiences can expect an unforgettable experience. Part of the Jazz Ensemble’s mission is to bring light to the beauty and depth of our cultural treasures. With inspiring sounds and soothing tunes of classic jazz, the Jazz Ensemble will continue to inspire music listeners from all walks of life. $25 or $15 for museum members.
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