People interested in listening to some jazz do not have to go very far from home this weekend.

People interested in listening to some jazz do not have to go very far from home this weekend.


The Blue Springs High School Evening of Jazz is at 8 p.m. Friday at the Blue Springs High School Performing Arts Center, 2000 N.W. Ashton Drive. Admission is $3. The concert will feature the Sunny Vale Middle School Jazz Band, the Brittany Hill Middle School Jazz Band, the Jazz Lab II Band and the Wildcat Jazz Ensemble.


The Evening of Jazz is presented each year at the end of April and has become one of the most anticipated events in the community, said director of bands Tim Allshouse. Among the musical selections will be “Mambo Swing,” which is based of a medley of several Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs.


“The Evening of Jazz is a celebration of American Music – the music of swing, soul and rhythm and blues,” Allshouse said. “In many ways, the preparation for the performance with the band is great bonding time. It is a great deal of time and work, but having a chance to work on not only music but lighting effects and some other surprises gives the members a glimpse into professional show production.”


Allshouse said the performance is “certainly a highlight” because it reflects the growth and journey of the Wildcat Jazz Ensemble over the past year.


“Nobody really knows the journey that they have taken other than us,” he said. “Hopefully, the audience enjoys the show, but for us it is so much more. It is about the day in and day out preparations and commitment to each other and excellence that we are really celebrating on stage with each other.”


Allshouse said this concert is different from others during the year because it is “non-traditional” because not only is the focus on jazz music, but there are also special lighting effects used for the jazz ensemble.


“The evening program is purposeful to have a wide range of music that should appeal to all generations. Swing, rock ’n’ roll, blues, soul, etc. It is our goal to entertain and hope the audience leaves singing a tune,” he said.


“Over the past few years this concert has grown and grown, and we are grateful to the community for their support of live jazz music and supporting young musicians. Not only is it a good show, but it is fun. Children of all ages, 1 to 100, will have a great time.”