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BC jazzing up theater with concert on Monday

Local jazz fans have been able to enjoy the talents of Bakersfield College's jazz musicians at concerts in the garden this year at the Bakersfield Museum of Art but these performers are headed back to where it all started on the northeast campus.

On Monday, the BC Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos will perform their first indoor concert at the Edward Simonsen Indoor Theater since the pandemic began.

These student ensembles will be led by Jazz Studies director and Performing Arts Department Chair Kris Tiner.

"We are thrilled to bring the BC Jazz Ensemble back to the Indoor Theater stage after nearly two years," Tiner said in a news release. "We have done several online streaming events and outdoor gatherings over the past few semesters, but there is nothing that compares to the energy of a live big band in a concert hall. We've put together a set of tunes that will really capture that excitement!"

Active since the early 1960s, the Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble is one of the oldest collegiate groups of its kind. It focuses on the big band music tradition, and this concert will feature classic works by Duke Ellington and Neal Hefti as well as arrangements of tunes by modern jazz artists such as trumpeter Lee Morgan and pianist Chick Corea, who passed away earlier this year.

The ensemble will also perform a new composition by Ayn Inserto titled "Notorious RBG," a hip hop-inspired tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Students in the BC Jazz Combos will open the concert with a selection of original compositions and jazz standards.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the theater on campus, 1801 Panorama Drive. The venue will be limited to 40% capacity (160 guests). Masks are required while indoors and campus visitors must complete BC's Daily Health Tracker (accessible at bakersfieldcollege.edu/covid19/campuspass or via the KCCD Campus Pass App) on the day of the performance.

Tickets are $12, $8 for students, staff and seniors, available at eventbrite.com. If tickets sell out in advance, no tickets will be available at the door.