May 2, 2005

Jazz ensembles carry tunes to first place

Sacramento State students were right on key for the 2005 Down Beat Student Music Awards, in which University jazz ensembles C-Sus and The Jazz Singers were named co-winners in the magazine's Best Collegiate Vocal Jazz Group category.

"It's extremely gratifying for us, as we all consider it to be the most prestigious award we can receive in college vocal jazz," says Sacramento State professor Kerry Marsh, director of vocal jazz. "Lots of hard work goes into any jazz performance, and to be recognized for it is an honor."

C-Sus and The Jazz Singers are advanced ensembles of the University's jazz program, requiring auditions for all performers. They both specialize in a contemporary jazz sound.

Both groups perform several times each semester on and off campus at festivals and at schools for outreach. A collection of recordings from these two groups, titled In the Winelight, were released April 24.

Down Beat magazine, published since 1934, accepts taped submissions from student musicians as entry in its annual student awards competition. Its awards are considered among the most prestigious national honors given to jazz students.

For more information, contact Marsh at (916) 233-7066 or at kerry@kerrymarsh.net. For media assistance, contact public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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