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Revival of Ole Miss Jazz Alumni Reunion to Take Place May 6 – 7

The Mississippians, Photo: Facebook
The Mississippians, Photo: Facebook

This weekend marks the Revival of the Old Miss Jazz Alumni Reunion on Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7.

Jeff Callaway (Photo by Derek Moreton)
Jeff Callaway (Photo by Derek Moreton)

Despite a rich history as home to “The Mississippians,” the first collegiate jazz band in America as well as a thriving alumni base, the Jazz Alumni Reunion hasn’t been held in over a decade.

But that streak will be broken soon, according to local musician and Alumni Band frontman Jeff Callaway who said, “After recently losing two great former leaders of the Ole Miss Jazz program, we decided it was time to get together, honor our former mentors and friends, and jam all weekend.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, features performances by The Collegians and The Mississippians jazz bands, the Ole Miss Alumni Big Band, reading sessions and jazz combos performing at Proud Larry’s and Soulshine Pizza on Saturday afternoon.

Flyer from jazz.olemiss.edu
Flyer from jazz.olemiss.edu

Local musician and alumni Jeff Callaway, who is serving as Alumni Band Director, said “It’s great to see such an important tradition revived, the directors at Ole Miss, Dr. Michael Worthy and Adam Estes have done a wonderful job with the program, and we want the students to see that they’re a part of something bigger than just their few years here, that there’s a tradition that goes back to the history and beginnings of the art form.”

Callaway also said that alumni wishing to honor two former directors who have recently passed away: Dr. John McCauley and Dr. Bob Jordan, who were both a major impetus.

“Dr. McCauley and Dr. Jordan influenced such an unbelievable number of people, teachers, students, and we’ll do our best to honor their memories with some great music and memories,” he said.

The events are free and open to the public from Friday, May 6 to Saturday, May 7.

On Friday, May 6, The Collegians conducted by Adam Estes with alumni guest soloist Jeff Callaway will perform at 7:30 p.m. at The Inn at Ole Miss. Alumni reading sessions will follow and the attendees can enjoy the cash bar.

On Saturday, May 7, the Alumni Jazz combos will play at Proud Larry’s and Soulshine Pizza on the Square from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Later on at 7:30 p.m. at the Nutt Auditoriam, The Mississippians conducted by Michael Worthy will play, followed by the Ole Miss Alumni Big Band.

To stay updated, find the event on Facebook. Be sure to also visit jazz.olemiss.edu.

For questions or comments, email us at hottytoddynews@gmail.com.

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