Jazz retrospective planned at Pitt State on Wednesday  

April is National Jazz Appreciation Month and the Pittsburg State University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Professor Robert Kehle, joined by The Crossroads Jazz Orchestra, directed by Professor Todd Hastings, will be celebrating in a big way on Wednesday, April 19.  

A free concert, “Jazz and PSU in Retrospective,” is planned for 7 p.m. at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer.  

"We have a very special performance planned that will trace the history of PSU and of Jazz, America’s musical art form,” said Kehle, who will direct a university jazz concert for the last time after a 45-year career in the Music Department.  

Special guests will include Pittsburg musician Lemual Sheppard, who is known nationally.  

“We’ll take you from the origins of jazz in rural blues through to contemporary jazz sounds,” Kehle said. “We’ll also explore the history of PSU through photos, from the early years of its founding in 1903 to today’s look, all narrated by PSU President Dan Shipp.”   

About the Concert  

Audiences can expect to hear such tunes as Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer," performed on the Steinway by graduate music performance student Isaac Hernandez; “When the Saints Go Marching In” by a New Oreans style jazz band; and hits by the two ensembles such as “Sentimental Journey,” “Sing Sing Sing,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Take the A Train,” “Fly Me To the Moon,” “The Girl from Ipanema,” and many, many more.  

About The Crossroads Jazz Orchestra   

The Crossroads Jazz Orchestra was formed in the fall of 2005 and grew out of a love for traditional big band jazz music and a need for a community/ professional-based ensemble at Crowder Community College and the Four State Area.   

The band is comprised of community and professional musicians who have played with musical greats including Doc Severinsen, Joe Williams, Henry Mancini, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Wayne Newton, and Bob Mintzer.   

About Todd Hastings  

Hastings is an acclaimed performer and clinician in both the classical and commercial fields. His credits include performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, American Ballet Theater, Doc Severinson, Aretha Franklin, Henry Mancini, Joe Williams, Curtis Fuller, Bob Mintzer, Woody Herman Orchestra, Ben Vereen, and has performed as Lead Trumpet for the Broadway Touring company's production of Chicago.   
About Lem Sheppard  

Sheppard is a guitarist and singer who performs traditional music, folk and jazz. He has performed abroad, nationally, as well as at many regional and international music festivals. He was a national finalist in the Telluride Blues Contest, is a member of the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame, and a Congressional Committee selected him to represent Kansas on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center.  

About Robert Kehle  

Kehle has performed with the Spokane Symphony, at several International Trombone Festivals as a member of the Cramer Choir and the American Trombone Choir, the Indiana Brass Quintet, the Spokane Jazz Society, and back up for various touring artists/groups including Slide Hampton's World of Trombones, the Manhattan Transfer, Johnny Mathis and with Louie Bellson. Besides his work with musicians, his performance have included many notables like President Richard Nixon and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.