EIU Jazz Ensemble Releases Album


Published on April 17 2019 8:56 am
Last Updated on April 17 2019 8:57 am

Honoring the town they study and perform in, the Eastern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble fittingly named their new album 61920. For those not recognizing the reference, 61920 is the zip code of Charleston, Illinois. The album features both live and studio recordings and is available for purchase.

“The album has been in the works for the past four years”, said Dr. Samuel Fagaly, director of EIU’s Jazz Studies program. The recordings from the album began in the spring of 2015 and continued through the spring of 2018 and features some compositions and arrangements by current and former jazz students. According to Fagaly, 61920 showcases the EIU Jazz Ensemble’s authentic style of performing.

“I’m very proud of this year’s album, especially because two thirds of the cuts on the album are from live performances showcasing the Jazz Ensemble’s musicianship.” He added the saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and other instruments work together to create an exceptional musical experience.

61920 consists of twelve compositions and arrangements by current and former students including Brian Shaw (’01), Preston Rice (’21), and Lucas Fain (’17). The album also includes a composition by former Director of Jazz Studies, Allan Horney, “The ‘J’ Bird Rides Again.” Performing on the album include special guests Andrew Cheetham (trumpet), Christian Dillingham (bass), Christina Peter (voice), and Jamie V. Ryan (drums). The album was recorded by Jeff Zahos and Chris Burke and produced by Sam Fagaly.

This is not the first time the EIU Jazz Ensemble has recorded an album. In the 1990’s Eastern Time Zone, produced by Allan Horney, and in 2000 the Ensemble released In the Pocket, produced by Sam Fagaly and Michael Stryker.

The EIU Jazz Ensemble has received numerous awards and featured at the International Association for Jazz Education and Illinois Music Educators Association conferences. The group has performed with legendary jazz artists including Mel Tormé, Dizzy Gillespie, Diane Schuur, and Joe Williams.

To get a copy of 61920, the album sells for $10 and can be purchased at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Box Office, the Music Department Office. The album is also available online through CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify under the name Eastern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble.