Christmas Gala Jazz is coming up at Bethel College, but you can get more of your live jazz fix before that with a special concert Nov. 19.

Three highlights

1. Talented groups

The Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble (MKJE) and Bethel Jazz Combo I will play in Memorial Hall.

Bethel Jazz Combo I will play at the Kansas Music Educators Association convention in Wichita in February.

Jim Pisano, director of jazz studies at Bethel, leads MKJE, and also works with Jazz Combo I.

MKJE is an auditioned high school honors jazz band in residence at Bethel. MKJE usually plays fall and spring concerts at Bethel, in collaboration with one or more Bethel jazz ensembles and often with one or more guest artists.

Guest artists for the Nov. 19 performance are Bethel jazz faculty Joel Boettger on saxophone and Kim Trujillo on drums.


2. Original music

There wil be some new music to hear as Bethel's Jazz Combo I will perform Neil Smucker’s composition “Entomology” and Westen Gesell’s composition “Jaunt.”

Both composers are current Bethel College students. Smucker received an Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity Scholar grant for work in composition this past summer.


3. Familiar faces

Saturday will feature several musicians from Harvey County. Bethel's Jazz Combo I will include Neil Smucker, a senior from North Newton, on alto saxophone, and  Evan Koch, fifth-year from North Newton, on trumpet. The MKJE will include Eli Regier, Blake Crawford and AJ Dugan of Newton High School in the saxophone section; Sam Bartel, Hesston High School, in the trombone section;  Josh Bergman, Newton, in the trumpet section; and Douglas Ragon, Newton, on piano in the rhythm section




WHEN: 4:30 p.m. Nov. 19

WHERE: Memorial Hall, Bethel College, North Newton.

HOW MUCH: The concert is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support MKJE and Bethel jazz studies.