On Friday, May 22 at 8 pm, local and regional favorite Unified Jazz Ensemble will present songs that have stood the test of time. Featured will be works by composers Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and George Gershwin. Mike Noonan leads the ensemble; he is a composer and multi-instrumentalist and will play the mellow sound of the vibraphone in this concert. He will be joined by Dominic Smith on drums, John Pineda on bass and Tim Stanley on trumpet. The concert, part of the 4th Friday Concert Series with Brian Ganz and Friends, will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 333 Dubois Road in Annapolis. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, visit www.tinyurl.com/UUCA-concerts or call 410-266-8044 Monday – Thursday.
The Unified Jazz Ensemble (UJE) is well known in the Annapolis area. In addition to their regular gigs here, UJE has delighted audiences at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Hall, The Smithsonian Jazz Café and Blues Alley in Washington, D.C. The group is known for their fresh dynamic sound and cueing and playing off each other instinctively. Mike Noonan on vibraphone contributes a unique vibe in concert with bass, drums, and trumpet in their innovative performance of jazz standards and original compositions. As to the jazz UJE performs, Noonan states “Jazz is improvisatory in essence but does follow form very similar to other styles of music. One of the more exciting aspects of a jazz performance is that the listener and performer experience this improvisational element concurrently.”
Unified Jazz Ensemble has been based in Annapolis for the past 19 years, has recorded eight well received CD’s, received awards for their original compositions and performance style, and praise from educators as enlightening and engaging. They were chosen to bring jazz to rural parts of the United States by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Subsequently they partnered with Class Acts Arts to perform in residence in schools and other community settings in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area.
The members are master musicians who maintain an active schedule in the D.C. metro area. All have music degrees and have performed with notable musicians. Mike Noonan performs on vibraphone, marimba, piano and trombone; arranges and composes music; and provides clinics in jazz composition and improvisation. He is a two time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards. Trumpeter Tim Stanley has since 2004 been a member of the United States Navy ?Commodores? Jazz Ensemble. He is also a member of the Grammy winning Latin Jazz ensemble Afro Bop Alliance. Bassist John Pineda came to the area from the jazz mecca of Boston; he has CD recordings including one with legendary drummer Joe Hunt, and is known for his sensitivity and earthy groove. Dominic Smith has been a fixture on the local jazz scene for the past 15 years and is known for his hard swinging style and rhythmic subtleties.
This program is part of a year-long ticketed concert series offered monthly on the 4th Fridays at 8 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (UUCA). A Friday Five Pack ticket ($12 per concert) can be obtained at the door for $60. The series is presented by Brian Ganz and Friends and the UUCA to benefit the church?s work. A second jazz program will be offered on July 24, The Sara Jones Jazz Quartet with lush vocals and music from the American Songbook. The June 26 program is Trio Galilei, music of the British Isles. See www.tinyurl.com/UUCA-concerts for future programming.