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Music of Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin featured at Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis

5/18/2015, 7 a.m.
On Friday, May 22, 2015 local and regional favorite Unified Jazz Ensemble will present songs that have stood the test ...
The Unified Jazz Ensemble performs three jazz greats: Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis on Friday May 22 at 8 pm. Ensemble members (L-R) pictured above are Tim Stanley, trumpet; Mike Noonan, vibraphone; John Pineda, bass and Dominic Smith, drums. (Photo: Larry Melton)

— On Friday, May 22, 2015 local and regional favorite Unified Jazz Ensemble will present songs that have stood the test of time at 8 p.m. 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 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 fourth Friday Concert Series with Brian Ganz and Friends, will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church located at 333 Dubois Road in Annapolis.

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.

This program is part of a year long ticketed concert series offered monthly on the 4th th 4th Fridays at 8 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (UUCA. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, visit www.tinyurl.com/UUCA-concerts or call 410-266-8044 Monday to Thursday.