Arts & Culture Editor
Guest artist Chris Vadala joined the MU Jazz Ensemble on Friday, February 19, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall to present the concert Jazz at the ‘Ville.
Vadala is the Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Saxophone at the University of Maryland. He joined the Jazz Ensemble on Friday night, directed by Keith Wiley, to perform over a dozen songs on multiple instruments including the flute and saxophone.
Two vocalists also performed in the concert. Madeleine Heraty sang “The Way You Look Tonight,” and Alex Weaver sang “It Had to Be You.” The Jazz Ensemble played a variety of jazz songs including “Cold Duck Time,” “Oliver,” and “Take the A Train.”
Vadala is a jazz and classical performer and educator. Besides performing as a soloist, he has also performed with the internationally recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet. He has performing credits on five gold and two platinum albums, and his awards include a Golden Globe, two Emmy’s, and two Grammy’s.
You could tell by the way he took the stage that he was used to performing, but the amount of great performers he has shared the stage with over the years is astounding. Just a few of the acts he has performed in collaboration or recorded with include Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Frankie Valli, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aretha Franklin.
Vadala spent time during the week before the concert working with the Jazz Lab Band and concluded his time at Millersville by participating in the Jazz at the ‘Ville concert. He and Wiley took turns at the microphone introducing the songs and made the audience laugh between by bopping their heads to the music.