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CD release concert: Evangel Jazz Orchestra with Jay Daversa

Published on Oct 10, 2018 by Evangel University News

The Evangel University Jazz Orchestra will perform in concert with guest artist Jay Daversa, celebrating the debut of their new album, Thursday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. in the Robert H. Spence Chapel.

The concert is free and open to the public.

“Both the album and the concert will feature Jay Daversa, a legend in the jazz and trumpet world. His performing and recording credits range from Elvis to Herbie Hancock,” said Joel Griffin, assistant professor of music and director of jazz studies at Evangel.

The album, titled El Abrazo, is the first full-length recording by the Evangel University Jazz Orchestra. It will be available in the lobby following the concert for $15.

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Jay Daversa (left) with Evangel music prof Joel Griffin. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

There will also be a meet-and-greet with Jay Daversa — a ticketed reception following the concert, where ticket-holders will receive a copy of the album and have the opportunity to visit with Daversa and members of the EU Jazz Orchestra. The reception tickets are limited and cost $20 per person.

According to Griffin, the album features compositions by some of the best writers and arrangers in jazz today, such as Alan Baylock, Bill Holman, Steve Weist and John Clayton.

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The Evangel University Jazz Orchestra in the recording studio with Jay Daversa (center). // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

“What a great big band,” wrote Gary Smulyan of the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. “Beautiful ensemble blend, a strong sense of rhythm and swing, and a lot of confidence.”

El Abrazo will be available in stores and on iTunes Tuesday, Oct. 23.

For pre-orders on the CD and tickets to the reception, contact Kristin DeGarmo in the Department of Music at Evangel — or (417) 865-2811, ext. 7212.

About Jay Daversa

Daversa got an early start in show business, playing trumpet at the age of five with his father’s dance band. After several youthful TV appearances and a stint as solo trumpet for the 6th Army Band at the Presidio of San Francisco, he landed a recording gig with Stan Kenton. For this he was heralded as the “Most Promising New Jazz Artist” by Downbeat Magazine, in 1968.

At his peak, Daversa toured and recorded with artists as varied as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Henry Mancini, Herbie Hancock, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, Lionel Richie and Frank Zappa.

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Trumpet legend Jay Daversa listens to a just-recorded track. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

He was also the “first call” studio trumpet player in Los Angeles for several decades and has more than 200 major television and motion picture credits. He can be heard on television themes, such as The Love Boat, The Walton’s, Dallas, The Carol Burnett Show, Charlies Angles, Hawaii Five-O, and Happy Days.

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Record producer Stockton Helbing reviews charts with guest artist Jay Daversa. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

His playing can also be heard on various movie soundtracks, such as Grease, Rocky II, Mrs. Doubtfire, Shaft, King Kong, and Smokey & the Bandit.

Today, Jay Daversa maintains an active performing and recording schedule on trumpet and keyboards. He also spends much of his time working as a musical director and producer for artists of every genre across the country and around the world.

Evangel’s Department of Music

Evangel University offers many vibrant degree programs in music, each carefully designed to ensure that students build strong musical skills, gain professional training and experience a wide range of musical activities. Programs include music education, music performance, recording technology and worship leadership.

The department has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1970. For more information, contact the Evangel Music Department at (417) 865-2811, ext. 7212.


Written by: Mallory Johnson & Paul K. Logsdon