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March 5, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – A multi-genre improvisational music group is staking the stage for the first time at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mar. 7 in Groth Recital Hall in Loso, Room 126 at EOU.
Named for the nearby north circle of latitude, the new 17-piece ensemble 45th Parallel is co-directed by professors Matt Cooper and John McKinnon, with assistance from Luke McKern.
The trio created 45th Parallel in response to the ever-changing world of music and the desire for a group outside of the “traditional” institutions of band, orchestra and jazz band.
The ensemble is also unique because it doesn’t stick to one particular music style.
“We cross boundaries between jazz, funk, folk, pop and world music,” Cooper explained.
Membership is comprised of 14 university students and the co-directors. Their repertoire focuses on original student and faculty transcriptions and arrangements including music from Johnny “Guitar” Watson, former Bela Fleck sideman Howard Levy, the Decembrists, the Tin Hat Trio, Maceo Parker and others.
Several vocalists and a variety of instruments – keyboards, percussion, guitars, strings, brass and winds – are featured.
Falling into the keyboard category are the piano, organ, accordion, electronic keyboard and melodica. Percussion ranges from drum set to box drums, hand percussion and African percussion.
Acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, violin and viola round out the string instruments, and the horn section features trumpet, trombone and saxophone.
Admission to the debut concert is free with donations accepted to benefit music studies at EOU. Early arrival is recommended, as seating is limited.
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