A Tribute to Benny Golson

Southern Utah University’s Jazz Ensemble presented a lively tribute to the famous musician Benny Golson on Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Heritage Center Theatre. This event was free and open to the public. 

Benny Golson is an American jazz tenor saxophonist, composer and arranger. Originally known as a composer rather than a performer, he eventually became famous after launching his solo career. 

In honor of Golson, the Jazz ensemble played ten pieces, opening up with the fun and energetic “Magic Flea.” During this performance, the audience was seen tapping their feet and snapping their fingers. 

Drew Holland, on the tenor saxophone and Russell Gradf with the trombone graced the audience with solos of their own during this piece. 

“Straw Boss,” a slower piece, featured students Will Zeller on the trumpet, Drew Holland on the tenor saxophone, Pablo Suarez on the bass, and Brennan Hansen on the guitar. 

Members of the Jazz Ensemble were full of energy and passion as they performed their pieces. 

One of the dedicated ensemble members was Austin Mecham. He has been playing the trombone for nine years. Mecham is a sophomore studying information systems, who has been a part of the Jazz Ensemble for a little over a year.

“My favorite piece to play was ‘Magic Flea.’ It’s just a high energy song and I think most of the band was really into it,” Mecham said.

The Department of Music will host several concerts during the next two weeks. The next concert will be a Community Band Concert at the Hunter Conference Center Theater on Dec. 2 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 


Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong