Award-winning composer, arranger and trumpeter Doug Beach will headline the 2023 Cameron University Jazz Festival, slated for Tuesday, March 7, in the University Theatre. Beach will join the CU Jazz Ensemble and the Lawton Jazz Orchestra for an evening of original compositions as well as jazz standards. The Aggie Jazz Academy, an ensemble composed of students from Cache High School, Lawton High School and Eisenhower High School.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, military members and non-CU students. Cameron students, faculty and staff are admitted at no charge with a valid CU ID. To reserve tickets, please call 580-581-2346 or order online at https://www.cameron.edu/art-music-and-theatre/events/buy-tickets.
Renowned for his work as a publisher and composer, Beach’s company, Doug Beach Music, is one of the world’s leading publishers of educational jazz music. Each year since 1995, he has been the recipient of a Plus Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), which recognizes writer members whose works are substantially performed in media not surveyed by ASCAP, or whose works have a unique prestige value for which adequate compensation would not otherwise be received.
Beach’s arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Cottontail” was one of the tracks on the 1997 Grammy Award winning album “Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild,” recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra and New York Voices.
At Elmhurst University, where he taught from 1978 until 2021, Beach served as director of the widely acclaimed Elmhurst College Jazz Band and as director of jazz studies. Under his direction, the Jazz Band made more than 30 European tours and performed in jazz festivals across the world. The band and its members were frequent award winners in Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards, and in 2014 was named by Downbeat as the winner in the large jazz ensemble category for undergraduate institutions.
Beach is the recipient of Elmhurst University’s 2003 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching as well as the 2012 Faculty Merit Award. He was honored with a Jazz Education Achievement Award from Downbeat Magazine in 2015.
To open the festival, the Aggie Jazz Academy will perform Mark Taylor’s arrangement of “The Street Where You Live” as well as two of Beach’s compositions, “Down to the Wire” and “Funktion Junction.”
Joined by the CU Jazz Ensemble, Beach will perform several of his compositions, including “Back Alley Shuffle,” “Living in a Dream,” “Night of the Living Chili Pepper” and “Six by Six.” They will also perform Diane Reeves’ “Nine” with vocals by Emmalee Hamilton and “The Way You Look Tonight” featuring Lillie Hodgson with Emmalee Hamilton.
The Lawton Jazz Orchestra will begin its portion of the concert with ”Spring Break,” an original composition by Kris Berg. Beach will perform as featured soloist with the ensemble as it performs a selection of his compositions and arrangements, which include “Missing Tooth,” “Alone Together,” “I Concentrate on You” and “Tears in Her Eyes.”
CU students performing during the concert are Darien King, Duncan; Owen Ellis and Melody Veloz, Elgin; and Irmtraud Bryant, Heather Heinz, Lillie Hodgson, Hayley Kousman, William Magee, Jeremiah Phillips, Nicolas Raso and Jamie Riha, Lawton.
Also appearing will be community members from throughout southwest Oklahoma, including K. Kay Alsobrook, Monty Booker, Jarom Christensen, Brian Francis, Pam Francis, Derek Griner, David Jackson, Merrande Johnson, Michele Jones, Peter Macias, Brad Martinez, Isaiah Moncrief, Daniel Rogers, Randy Smith, Lonnie Snodgrass, Ian Stark and Jason Villarreal.
Members of the Aggie Jazz Academy are Ricky Bell, Isabel Cardenas, Kyle Daugherty, Johnny Griner and Logan Roach, Cache High School; Elijah Allen, Imani Banks, JJ Bridges, Collin Fallon, Kenneth File, Reece Henderson, Hayley Kousman, Logan McCormack, Ryan G. Nabors and Tavion Todd, Eisenhower High School; and Bernie Gonzalez, Lawton High School.
CU faculty members Dr. Lucas Kaspar and Dr. JD Little, director of the performing ensembles, will also appear.
The Cameron University Jazz Festival is sponsored by CU Lectures and Concerts.