Fort Hays State University's Jazz Ensemble I had a unique performance opportunity recently when they were able to perform with three jazz professionals at the Great Bend Jazz Festival on January 17.
The jazz ensemble performed with vocalist Kevin Mahogany, jazz bassist Bob Bowman and pianist Frank Mantooth.
"We talked back stage. They were really professional," said Alex Toepfer, Hays sophomore, "and they are fantastic musicians who are really at the top of their game."
Kevin Mahogany, Kansas City native, has been named Downbeat magazines No.1 jazz vocalist in the readers' polls for four consecutive years and has six albums out, two of which are under the Warner Brothers label.
Bob Bowman a Topeka native who is currently touring with Karrin Allyson and teaching at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Conservatory of Music's School of Jazz Studies, has been a part of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabakin Big Band.
Frank Mantooth, a pianist, composer, arranger, clinician and educator who resides in Garden City and has five albums with a total of eleven Grammy nominations, does numerous summer jazz camps and has been included in the 2001 edition of Grove's Dictionary of Jazz.
Members of the jazz ensemble are listed below by hometown and classification:
Chapman: Ben Markley, senior and Brett Zamrzla, freshman.
Great Bend: Matt Koochel, senior.
Hays: Jordan Bollig, Hays High junior; Chris Colwell, senior; Zach Dinges, senior; Nathan Frye, junior; Luke Johnson, senior; Mike Manteuffel, senior; Aaron Rockers, sophomore; Kale Schrader, freshman; Alex Toepfer, sophomore; and Shelly Wolf, junior.
Hutchinson: Jeremy Samuel, senior, 606 E. Third St.
Norton: Jeremy Wetter, senior.
Ransom: Michelle McGinnis.
Salina: Kyle Brown, senior, 649 E. Prescott Rd.
WaKeeney: Sarah Al-Shaer, sophomore.
Wichita: Tyler Pilger, junior, 9814 Cornelison.
Winfield: Stephanie Anglemyer, senior.