April 9, 2008

Sac State Jazz Singers win DownBeat award

Sacramento State’s Jazz Singers
Sacramento State’s Jazz Singers

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If Sacramento State’s Jazz Singers were a Cole Porter song, it would be “You’re the Top.”

The group has been named co-winners of the 2008 Best Collegiate Vocal Jazz Group award by DownBeat magazine, the premier publication for jazz music. The news is scheduled to be formally announced next month, says jazz vocal director Kerry Marsh. This is the fifth DownBeat award for the vocal jazz program in the last four years.

Such accolades put Sacramento State in the top tier of jazz programs, with universities such as North Texas, Western Michigan and Miami, Marsh says. “It means a lot to the students’ futures that they can say they graduated from a DownBeat award-winning school or, even better, won one themselves.”

Marsh doesn’t know yet who the other co-winners are. It may be one other university or it could be two or three, he says.

The Jazz Singers are one of three vocal jazz groups at Sacramento State. The others are C-Sus and Vox2. The composition of each group changes from semester to semester, depending on the student singers available at the time.

The program also draws students from all over the country. Marsh says when he joined the program five years ago he set out to put Sacramento State on the short list of colleges jazz students would consider, and it appears he has succeeded at that goal.

Awards such as the DownBeat honor can only add to Sacramento State’s increasing prestige and further enhance its environment of high standards and great music.

Go to http://www.myspace.com/sacramentostatevocaljazz to listen to the jazz groups.

For more information, call the Music Department at (916) 278-5155 or visit www.csus.edu/music. A high resolution photo of the Jazz Singers is available at www.csus.edu/news/imagedownload/. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.