NSU Jazz Orchestra wins Sweepstakes Award at Loyola Jazz Festival

NEW ORLEANS – The Northwestern State University Jazz Orchestra won the Grand Sweepstakes Trophy at the 46th Annual Loyola Jazz Festival held this past weekend in New Orleans.

NSU-Jazz-at-LoyolaThe orchestra, led by Associate Professor of Music Galindo Rodriguez, won three straight First Divisions. Orchestra member Edgar Avilan-Diaz of Cartagena Colombia, was named Outstanding Piano Soloist and Andrew Benjamin of Arlington, Texas, was named Outstanding Lead Trumpeter. Northwestern State also had the Outstanding Trumpet Section.

The event features two days of performances by ensembles from throughout the United States. Adjudicators for the event included JB Dyas, former executive director of the Brubeck Institute, Pat Harbison, professor of jazz studies at Indiana University, Earl McDonald, former music director for Maynard Ferguson and Wayne Maureau, percussion instructor at Loyola University.

Other members of the 22-member ensemble are vocalist Kortney Broussard of DeRidder, saxophonists Justin Lindsay of Shreveport, Kenyon Johnson of DeRidder, Ian Cassidy of Madisonville, Eric Stanford of Baton Rouge, Ryan Looper of Cleburne, Texas trumpeters Robert T. Rosario Abney of Haughton, Dan Ramstad of Bossier City, Kazue Seo of Kagawa, Japan and Francisco Ballestas of Cartagena, Colombia.

Jazz-Orchestra-15The orchestra also includes trombonists Amanda Crump of Baton Rouge, Kyle Carlock of DeRidder, Dennis Hyde of Kenner, Jamie M. Neeley of Bossier City, Ronald Rodriguez of Cartegena, Colombia, on piano, Jimmy Leach of Longview, Texas, on vibraphone, R. Ventura and Jose M. Colon Marrugo of Cartegena, Colombia on bass and Christopher J. Smith of West Monroe and Balmiro Padilla of Cartagena, Colombia on drums.

The Jazz Orchestra will perform April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall.