Kirkwood’s Jazz Transit and RSVP sing in Ballantyne Auditorium
Kirkwood Community College’s student jazz vocalists take the stage once again this fall presenting music from many well-known composers. The RSVP and Jazz Transit groups will perform on stage in Ballantyne Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. The dozen-plus a cappella tunes in the program reflect popular styles ranging from the Manhattan Transfers, Broadway selections and pop tunes from the 1930’s and 40’s.
Under the direction of Ray Salucka, the Kirkwood Jazz Transit and RSVP will perform popular works from The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Louis Jordan and more. The concert mainly showcases the groups’ a cappella talents. Some tunes will feature rhythm accompaniment from Salucka at the piano; Dennis McPartland, drums; and Derek Barnes, bass.
Several works in the show come from the highly respected Concert of Sacred Music by Duke Ellington. Ellington once called the spiritual-infused orchestral/choral work “the most important thing I’ve ever done.”
Other tunes in the program run the gamut from Broadway standards to modern pop hits. The concert includes Jazz Transit performing Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,” arranged by Kerry Marsh. Marsh was a guest artist and clinician at Kirkwood earlier this year. He believes Kirkwood Jazz Transit and RSVP are “highly respected” musical groups with an immense amount of talent.
“There’s a strong vocal music and vocal jazz scene in [Iowa], and Ray Salucka and his two excellent groups from Kirkwood, Jazz Transit and RSVP, are a huge part of it. I was struck by the sense of professionalism that surrounded the event due to the hard-working and serious-minded nature of the students…Some really extraordinary singing took place, with a wide variety of repertoire,” said Marsh.
Kirkwood’s vocal jazz vocal groups have built a renowned reputation in college performance circles, with invitations to perform at jazz festivals in the Czech Republic and Switzerland in the past decade. The RSVP and Jazz Transit ensembles have also earned awards and honors in competitions from California and Colorado to New York.
Tickets for the Dec. 4 Vocal Jazz Concert are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and students with current ID. Kirkwood faculty, staff and students are admitted free. For advance tickets, please call (319) 398-5899 ext. 4331.