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Jazz Ensemble in concert Jan. 30 with special guest

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Last updated January 23, 2015

By Tina Underwood

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Image courtesy of

The Furman Jazz Ensemble will present a concert Friday, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m. in Daniel Recital Hall on the Furman campus.

The concert is open to the public and features guest Bill Sears, Director of Jazz Studies and Instructor of Saxophone at Interlochen Arts Academy (Mich.). Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. The event is part of Furman’s Cultural Life Program.

Dr. Matt Olson, Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at Furman, will conduct the ensemble which will perform a variety of music written for large jazz ensemble. The performance features music from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Thad Jones, and other composers throughout jazz history.

Sears has served as director of jazz studies and instructor of saxophone at the Interlochen Arts Academy since 1987 and at the Interlochen Arts Camp since 2010. Under Sears’ leadership, the academy’s award-winning jazz ensemble and combos are considered to be among the finest high school groups in the country.

An active jazz saxophonist, Sears has performed, toured and recorded with many leading musicians including Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, saxophonist Bill Evans, Rick Margitza, Peter Erskine, Art Farmer, Joe Williams, and Nancy Wilson. He has recorded two CDs, “Chasin’ the Goal” and “With One Accord,” both of which feature his engaging and individual saxophone voice, as well as several of his original compositions. He has also performed in backup orchestras for many popular artists including Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, and The Temptations. Sears is a Conn-Selmer performing artist and clinician.

For more information about the event, contact the Furman University Music Department at (864) 294-2086, or

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