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Loyola, Old U.S. Mint host live jazz concerts from fall to spring

September 16, 2014

On Thursday, Sept. 25, the classic sounds of legendary jazz musician John Coltrane will kick off the Jazz Underground series, a string of six live jazz concerts hosted by Loyola University New Orleans Montage Fine and Performing Arts series, which hosts more than 250 public events throughout the academic year. The first concert, “Coltrane’s Giant Steps,” is set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in Satchmo’s on Loyola’s main campus. Additional concerts scheduled for Oct. 23, Nov. 20, Jan. 22, Feb. 5 and March 5 feature everything from the music of Leroy Jones to the Astral Project.

All Jazz Underground concerts are held at either Satchmo’s or the Old U.S. Mint and are $10 for general admission, $5 for faculty and staff and free for Loyola students. Tickets are available online.

In the first concert in the series, Loyola professor Tony Dagradi will lead an all-star group of New Orleans artists to direct an annual tribute to John Coltrane, the most revolutionary and widely imitated saxophonist in jazz. The Jazz Underground concert will focus on the music from Coltraneʼs groundbreaking recording, “Giant Steps.” These classic jazz standards will be re-examined with new perspectives on harmony and form, along with unique updated arrangements.

Also performing with Dagradi are alto saxophonist Khari Allen Lee, pianist Michael Pellera, Ashlin Parker on trumpet, Chris Severin on bass and Johnny Vidacovich on drums. Lee teaches at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

Dagradi, an internationally recognized jazz performer, composer, author and educator, is most well known for his work with Astral Project, an adventurous quintet made up of top New Orleans players. For more than three decades, he has made his home in New Orleans, performing on tenor and soprano sax with many of the Crescent City's most celebrated artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Allen Toussaint, James Booker, The Meters, Dr. John, James Black, Johnny Adams and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. His performing past also includes five years as a member of the internationally acclaimed Carla Bley band and appearances with Bobby McFerrin, Mose Allison and Nat Adderley.

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