Most of the forthcoming Fourth of July celebrations will be in this country, but Brigham Young University's jazz ensemble Synthesis will celebrate the holiday in France as special guests at the Independence Day celebration at the American Embassy.
The French performance is one of several scheduled by the group, which leaves June 29 for a nearly four-week tour. Before leaving, Synthesis will serve up a helping of its music Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall of BYU's Harris Fine Arts Center. The musicians will also be featured at the Utah Arts Festival, June 25 from 7 to 8 p.m., at the Triad Center.The concerts will feature some of the music director Ray Smith plans to present at three major festivals in Europe: the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival of The Hague, Netherlands, and the Antibes Jazz Festival in France.
Selections include some Stan Kenton tunes, a selection of music by students Jeff Campbell, Brian Harker and Steve Erickson and a full range from swing to fusion.
"We're anxious to preview our tour music," Smith said. "We're particularly happy with the invitation in Switzerland because, although the festival runs for three weeks, there is only one specific Big Band Night. We were chosen with Kansas State University at Lawrence as one of two collegiate bands. Our soloist will be jazz great Randy Becker. The professional jazz group performing that night will be Gerry Mulligan's band."