Watch Angelo State's Tribute to Maynard Ferguson
SAN ANGELO, TX — The Angelo State University Jazz Ensemble performed a Tribute to Maynard Ferguson Friday night featuring Ferguson’s renowned lead trumpeter Paul Stephens. Trent Shuey, director of the band, said the late Ferguson is considered even to this day among the greatest trumpeters who ever lived.
“Higher, faster, louder best defines Maynard Ferguson,” said Shuey. “His ability to hit notes in the stratosphere takes a lot of training and many, many years of practice to play notes that high with the quality of sound at the register he was able to play them. It was just amazing.”
WATCH: Paul Stephens on trumpet and the tribute:
Trumpeter and composer Ferguson died in 2006 but his work lives on in recordings and his written music. The ASU Jazz Ensemble mastered Ferguson’s piece, “Conquistador”, with Stephens performing lead and solo trumpet. “Conquistador” is among the more difficult standards for university jazz ensembles to perform.
Those not familiar with Ferguson likely know his work. “Gonna Fly Now” is the top single from the same album where ”Conquistador” resides—the album is even titled Conquistador. But "Gonna Fly Now" is the theme song to the original Rocky movie starring Sylvester Stallone.
The ASU Jazz Ensemble Program offers a diverse and creative, small and large, group jazz performance experiences for students. The program challenges students to learn the music of the masters of the uniquely American music form with emphasis on learning improvisation. All students participate in various jazz groups and ensembles to gain a variety of performing experience.
Friday night’s concert was held in conjunction with ASU’s Trumpet Day with Paul Stephens to be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building on campus.
Video credits: Freddie DeAnda, video journalist; Manny Diaz, producer
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