New Arts Jazztet

Bringing in the holidays – The New Arts Jazztet, from left, Jimmy Beers, Dick Kelley, Phil Brown, Bob Allison and Isaac Lausell, along with jazz vocalist Eden Atwood will perform Sunday, Dec. 5 at The Varsity Center in Carbondale (Photo provided)

November 30, 2021

New Arts Jazztet will help kick off the holidays Dec. 5

Eden-Atwood-sm.jpgCARBONDALE, Ill. – The New Arts Jazztet and jazz vocalist Eden Atwood will again bring in the holiday season with “The New Arts Jazztet Does Cool & Yule” in the renovated Balcony Stage at The Varsity Center on Sunday, Dec. 5. 

The performance begins at 3 p.m., with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 apiece or $5 for students and are available online or at the door. Facemasks are required in shared indoor spaces under the state’s safety protocols. 

The New Arts Jazztet is a Southern Illinois jazz group comprised of SIU School of Music faculty formed in 1984 and in residence from that time. Current group members are Dick Kelley, reeds; Bob Allison, trumpet; Isaac Lausell, guitar; Phil Brown, bass; and Jimmy Beers, drums. 

The show is the group’s fourth performance at the Balcony Stage at The Varsity Center, 418 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, and the second to feature holiday music. This year’s program will feature a dozen selections, both seasonal and non-seasonal jazz encompassing a wide variety of styles. Atwood, who has performed with jazz luminaries such as Gene Harris, Joshua Redman, and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Big Band, and featured on NPR's Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland, will be featured in many of the program’s selections. 

The New Arts Jazztet performs two formal concerts each year – a spring concert that traditionally features new original compositions and a fall concert that comprises transcriptions or new arrangements of jazz standards. The group has recorded on three CDs, all by Brown. The most recent, “Arkadia,” released in October 2014, climbed onto the national Top 50 Jazz charts for radio airplay in early 2015. Additional background information, including member biographies, is available