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Enjoy an evening of quality jazz in Snoqualmie

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SNOQUALMIE - The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO), acclaimed as the Northwest's premier big band jazz ensemble, draws its program selections from the 100-year history of jazz - from turn-of-the-20th century ragtime to turn-of-the-21st century avant-garde - and includes works by the most famous composers of this uniquely American music genre. The 17-piece band will appear at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 24, in the Mount Si High School Theater, 8651 Meadowbrook Way S.E., Snoqualmie. The program is presented by Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live (SVAL).

Co-directors of the SRJO are Clarence Acox, nationally recognized director of award-winning bands at Seattle's Garfield High School; and Michael Brockman, longtime faculty member at the University of Washington and SRJO saxophonist/arranger. Acox is the group's drummer. Both have won prestigious awards for their work as educators and entertainers.

Acox was named national winner of the Educator of the Year Award from Downbeat Magazine and, along with his sextet, has won numerous awards for their CD recordings. He also is a regular member of the Floyd Standifer Group and serves annually as a faculty artist for the renowned Bud Shank/Centrum Jazz Workshop. Brockman's talent at recovering jazz classics by transcribing lost-to-print compositions and arrangements is responsible for the ensemble's growing repertoire. "An Evening of Duke Ellington at the UW," coordinated and directed by Brockman, was voted the 1992 Earshot Jazz Concert of the Year. In September of 1999, Brockman appeared on the cover of the nationally published Saxophone Journal and was the subject of a lengthy feature article.

There is a generous collection of awards and accomplishments among the other musicians, as well. Two of them - Hadley Caliman, tenor sax, and Bill Ramsey, alto sax - have been named to the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame. Larry Fuller, piano, joined the Ray Brown trio in 2000 and remained with the group until Brown's death in 2002. Many others have also played with well-known bands and artists, from the Count Basie and Ray Charles Orchestras to Ritchie Cole, the Jazz Police and Roadside Attraction. All are considered the Seattle area's leading jazz instrumentalists and together they keep the art of jazz thriving in the Northwest.

Hear them in concert, enjoy free refreshments and free parking. Tickets are $15 regular admission; $10 seniors; and $5 youth. Tickets are available now at Nature's Marketplace in North Bend; Isadora's in Snoqualmie; and Video Nites in Fall City. SVAL, a non-profit 501 ( c ) 3 organization, is grateful to King County 4Culture for partial funding of this and other concerts in the 2004-2005 Arts Live series.

* For information, visit www.snoqualmievalleyartslive.org or call Gloria at (425) 888-1514.

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