Free UMES Jazz Ensemble Concert with guest saxophonist Mark Gross

The UMES Jazz Ensemble will be in concert April 15 with saxophonist Mark Gross featured.

The UMES Jazz Ensemble will be in concert April 15 with saxophonist Mark Gross featured.

PRINCES ANNE — Whether you’re celebrating the end of tax season or a long-awaited warm up to the weather, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert might be just what you need.

Free and open to the public, the event takes place April 15 at 7 p.m. in the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts on the UMES campus.

Baltimore-born alto saxophonist Mark Gross will join the university’s jazz ensemble on stage performing “some hard-hitting jazz music,” said Brian Perez, music coordinator at UMES.  Gross will also present a master class for musicians of all instruments from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Educated at the Baltimore School of the Arts and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Gross “credits his sound to the rich appreciation for gospel music” acquired as the son of a pastor.

“It is a real treat to have a musician of his caliber on the Eastern Shore.  The concert and master class will be something you won’t find anywhere else,” Perez said.

Gross has toured and recorded with fellow pacesetters in jazz music, Perez said, among them the Dizzy Gilespie Big Band, Jimmy Heath and Duke Ellington Orchestra.  He has also performed on Broadway and was the lead alto saxophonist in the 2013-14 musical “After Midnight” at the Lincoln Center.  Gross was a featured musician on the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and appeared in Spike Lee’s film “Malcolm X” and the 2014 film “Annie.”

UMES’ spring concert series includes performances by the Jazz Combo and Chamber Ensemble April 22 at 7 p.m. and the Wind Ensemble April 27 at 7 p.m.  Call 410-651-6571 for more information.

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