The McNally Smith Contemporary Vocal Ensemble consists of a quartet of student singers directed by Jennifer Parker. True to the tradition of vocal jazz, the singers will interpret a number of songs originally recorded by instrumental artists, as well as interpretations of vocal pop music. Their performance will include “Sugar,” written by saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like A Rock,” Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” and “Oops” by Mike Maineri. A terrific faculty rhythm section, featuring Kristin Sponcia (piano), Michael Pilhofer (drums) and Travis Shilling (bass) will join the singers on “Oops,” originally recorded by the group Steps Ahead.
Also performing is the McNally Smith Jazz Orchestra, an 11-piece ensemble led by saxophonist Pete Whitman. This orchestra will perform a broad range of repertoire including standards like Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Like Someone In Love” (arranged by Rob McConnell) and Richard Rodgers’ “Spring Is Here” (arranged by Dave Hagedorn), jazz standards such as “El Gaucho” by Wayne Shorter and original compositions by Pete Whitman, Jeff Rinear and more! Judi Donaghy will join the ensemble for several selections such as “No Moon at All” by Red Evans, “The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines” by Charles Mingus and Joni Mitchell, and a version of “Lady Be Good” inspired by Ella Fitzgerald.
Vocalist Judi Donaghy has worked in opera, musical theater, jazz, folk, country, gospel, pop, and R&B. She currently works with such distinguished groups as Voicestra (Bobby McFerrin), Urbanstride, The Girls, the Wolverine’s Classic Jazz Orchestra, JazzMN Big Band, and Judi, Cliff ‘n’ Daves. Other credits include award-winning singer/songwriter (JAZZIZ Magazine), on-air talent, jingle singer/writer/producer, and vocal jazz clinician. Judi has sung on more than 30 CDs to date, two of which are her own productions: Sink or Swing, and Ballads and Bossas.Newer: Debut Performance of Mississippi Peace at MSCM Faculty Artist Performance Series
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