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University Jazz Bands

University Jazz Band concerts feature everything from authentic performances of traditional jazz standards to cutting-edge repertoire of world music, hip-hop and more.

From the big band “wall of sound” to spontaneous interplay in jazz combos, the Cal Poly Jazz Bands respect the tradition while expanding its boundaries.


Ed PalermoUniversity Jazz Bands' Jazz Night Concert with Ed Palermo

Saturday, May 31, 2014
8 p.m. Harman Hall, Performing Arts Center

The Cal Poly Jazz Bands will perform an “all-Zappa” concert with guest soloist, arranger and conductor Ed Palermo!

“Frank Zappa was one of rock’s greatest iconoclasts, with an instantly recognizable style,” said Paul Rinzler, director of jazz studies at Cal Poly. “His influences included 1950s doo-wop, psychedelic rock, jazz, and modern classical music, mixed together with his biting wit and an unapologetic sarcasm.”

Palermo, a New York-based musician, has adapted Zappa’s music for big band. One critic said, “Ed Palermo is the only interpreter of Frank Zappa’s music who does everything as he should.” Reviewer David Greenberger said, “The 17-piece band is capable of the layered and undulating textures that were a hallmark of Zappa’s jazz and orchestral writing. From the regal ‘Regyptian Strut’ to the sassy riffing of ‘Echidna's Arf (Of You),’ Frank would be pleased.”

Palermo will play saxophone and conduct his arrangements of Zappa compositions with both of Cal Poly big bands. Two jazz combos playing Zappa’s music will also be featured.

Tickets ($14 and $12 general, $12 and $9 seniors, students and Jazz Federation members)




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