MIDDLEPORT — Whether a dancer or a listener, everyone attending “Jazz in the Village,” held at the Riverbend Arts Council auditorium with music by the Ohio University Jazz Ensemble, seemed to really enjoy their evening out.
Music from the swing era big band was featured by the Ensemble directed by Matt James, professor of music at Ohio University. The featured repertoire for the evening included the music of the Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, and County Basie. The O.U. Ensemble has performed several times at the Arts Council and always attracts a crowd from over a wide area in Ohio and West Virgina.
James who teaches instruments, theory and arranging at OU and has performed as lead saxophonist with the Glen Mill Orchestra touring several countries and recorded with the orchestra on Barry Manilow’s Arista records, uses area Ensemble performances, like the one in Middleport, to give music students performing experience as well as exposure. The band came to Middleport this year under the sponsorship of King ACE Hardware in Middleport , Tim and Edie King.
A variety of refreshments for a food buffet were provided by local restaurants and delis.
The performance by the James Ensemble is just one of numerous events which take place at the Riverbend Arts Council. Other upcoming programs include John Marra on spring and summer gardening at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30; a concert by the Meigs Community Band directed by Toney Dingess at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, at Meigs High School; Doo-Wop on the Block, a Memorial Day concession, on May 24 at King Ace Hardware; Art in the Village on Oct. 5, the Riverbend Talent Revue on Nov. 29, and Christmas in the Village, on Dec. 21.
The Riverbend Arts Council is supported by the Ohio Arts Council and the United Fund for Meigs County. The facility which includes a large stage for performance and kitchen and restroom facilities is available for rent to the public. Scheduling is to be with Mary Wise, president, 992-2675.