Jazz band helps church to celebrate

DeKALB – Jazz in Progress, a community jazz band, will perform at Westminster Presbyterian Church in DeKalb at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 2. This is the third in a series of concerts offered by Westminster as the congregation celebrates its 50th anniversary.

With the classic big band instrumentation of five saxophones, five trumpets, four trombones and a rhythm section made up of piano, bass, drums and guitar, Jazz in Progress performs the music of the giants of the swing era like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Glen Miller, as well as music from later bands like Buddy Rich and Maynard Ferguson. The band’s repertoire includes swing, blues, Latin, and pop, with members of the band providing vocals on a number of tunes.

The group is under the direction of Dave Lehman. It made its public debut in the 2012 Celebration Chorale Salute to the USO concert. It has played at other local events and venues, including the NIU College of Education Jazz Bistro, the Gavin Wilson Family Variety Show, St. Mary’s Lancer Legacy Ball, the Hopkins Park band shell, and many of the area’s assisted living and care and rehabilitation centers.

The group’s Facebook page contains two versions of its mission statement, the long legal one – “This organization has been formed for musical, charitable, and educational purposes to support its mission to advance the appreciation, performance, and history of jazz music and its related genres” — and the short and to-the-point version – “Basically - we get together to play jazz - we like it, and we hope others will, too!”

Westminster Presbyterian Church, 830 N. Annie Glidden Road, is fully accessible. The concert is free; refreshments will be served.