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First-ever Paramount Jazz coming Sunday

Published 6:57am Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Feeling a little blue this winter?

The blues and jazz of all kinds will be featured at Paramount Jazz when the Austin High School jazz band plays the Historic Paramount Theatre at 3 p.m. on Jan. 20, with Southern Minnesota’s Real Big Band, based out of Mankato.

This first-ever concert is a fundraiser for the AHS and Ellis Middle School jazz bands, and audience members will get to hear both ensembles swing through a variety of jazzy selections, both traditional and contemporary.

The high school jazz band has been working on many standards including Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea,” and Glenn Miller’s “American Patrol,” as well as the classic rock staple “Moondance,” by Van Morrison.

The Real Big Band will be returning to Austin after it performed as part of the Southeastern Minnesota Middle Level Honor Band. However, this will be their first formal concert in the Austin area.

The ensemble was established in 1998 in Mankato and plays a wide variety of big band music, including songs by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, and Stan Kenton. The Real Big Band includes Austin resident and local band director Tim Davis, who has played trumpet in the group for six years.

Paramount Jazz is the brainchild of Ellis band director Nino Tarara and AHS band director Brad Mariska.

“We wanted to find an opportunity for our students to not only perform an all-jazz concert but also collaborate with professional jazz musicians and give Austin audiences a taste of the growing school jazz program,” Mariska said. “We wanted to perform a weekend matinee so that audience members of all ages could attend and so that family members from out of town could more easily attend a concert.”

Tickets for Paramount Jazz can be ordered in advance by calling the Paramount at 507-434-0934 or online at Adult tickets are $5 and students only $3 in advance. Tickets will also be sold at the door on the day of for an additional cost.

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