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Jazz it up with a variety of big band classics
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Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk and Billie Holiday are music legends who brought rhythmic beats and personal stylings to the jazz world.

And that is what the Gainesville State College Jazz Band, Jazz Combo and Chorale are ready to celebrate and bring to music fans.

The Annual Big Band Show, which has been at the college for more than 25 years, will feature the Jazz Band and Jazz Combo, directed by Andrew Santander, with a separate performance by the Chorale.

"It works really well because they don’t have to tie together," said David Thomas, director of chorale music. "It’s just a lot of good music and is fun for the audience."

Thomas added that the Jazz Band and Jazz Combo are "doing a variety of different things from traditional jazz pieces by Thelonius Monk and Duke Ellington. They have some pieces with soloists and they are doing some Latin-influenced jazz."

The 35-member Chorale will perform songs with an "Around New York" theme.

"We have songs about Broadway, Harlem, so we have a bunch of different influences," said Thomas, now in his third year as director. "Pieces by Billy Joel, Barry Manilow as well as jazz pieces by Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday ... there are lots of good things, all with a New York theme."

The Chorale will perform along with piano and drums.

"They do a little bit of singing and dancing, but not too much dancing — there’s too many of them," Thomas said.