AC Jazz Band Concert Features Joe Eckert

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Megan Whitworth
Megan Whitworth is the former creative director of Texas Forest Country Living. Growing up in East Texas, Megan discovered her love of writing at the age of 11, writing song lyrics and poetry, which turned into essays and articles for publications around East Texas. She later added photography into the mix capturing Friday night football games, the latest fashion looks, and portraits of people around the nation. Megan enjoys karaoke, blogging, reading, and road trips. She resides in Lufkin with her husband, Ryan, and two cats, Felix and Lucy.

Angelina College is hosting a jazz concert/high school jazz festival March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Hudgins Hall. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for seniors, students and children. The AC Community Big Band and the AC Swingin’ Roadrunner Jazz Combo will perform along with special guest artist Joe Eckert.

Eckert is the former lead alto saxophonist and director of the legendary world-famous Airmen of Note Jazz Ensemble. He has been called “…one of the finest and strongest lead alto players, and accomplished soloists, in the world today” by Connecticut radio personality, Mark Channon. Eckert will give each performing High School Jazz Band a clinic after their performance. All high school bands will receive complimentary tickets to the 7:30 p.m. concert.

Eckert is considered “…one of the best classical/jazz saxophonists ever to attend the University of North Texas. Joe is an outstanding musician who is comfortable performing/teaching all styles of music at a very high level,” according to Jim Riggs, regents professor of saxophone, at the University of North Texas.

The program for the AC Community Big Band includes “Take the A Train,” “There Will Never be Another You,” “Mambo Hot” and “Samantha.” Band members are Michael Parrish, Anthony Hackney, Dixon Shanks, Al Torres, Bethe Girardi-Bari, Jeff Sorey, Robert Shanks, LaVan Watts, Scott Williams, Steve Brown, Ricky Gay, Mel Miller, Luigi Lazareno, Alex Blair, Mark Saldana and instructors Jimmy Battle and Larry Greer.

The Swingin’ Roadrunner Jazz Combo program includes “Comin’ Home,” “Just Friends,” “Night and Day” and “My Funny Valentine.” Band members are Max Vallejo of Lufkin on the tenor sax, Haley Holcombe of Hudson on alto sax, Hayden Havard of Lufkin on piano, Olajuwon Taylor of Buna on drum set and director Larry Greer on bass.

For information about the music program at Angelina College, contact Larry Greer at

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