ETSO Jazz Spectacular features TJC and UT Tyler jazz bands, guest artist Terell Stafford | TJC

ETSO Jazz Spectacular features TJC and UT Tyler jazz bands, guest artist Terell Stafford

Jazz trumpeter and educator Terell Stafford will be the guest artist for the East Texas Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Jazz Spectacular, featuring the TJC and UT Tyler jazz ensembles.

The performance is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Liberty Hall, located at 103 E. Erwin St., in downtown Tyler.
Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets are available at, by calling the ETSO office at 903-526-3876, or at the door before the concert. The event is supported in part by the TJC Jazz Ensembles, UT Tyler Jazz Ensembles and the East Texas Symphony Orchestra with support from the Women’s Symphony League of Tyler.

“We are thrilled to present a fully collaborative series of events between our two schools, uniting our jazz community and students for this great night of music,” said Heather Mensch, TJC director of TJC Jazz Ensemble 1.

“This year, we bring to the stage one of the greatest trumpet players of our time, Terell Stafford, who will inspire and educate our students as well as thrill and astound our audience members.”

Terell Stafford

Terell Stafford

Stafford is a Grammy-winning member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and director of jazz studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has performed with Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, McCoy Tyner, Christian McBride, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Orchestra and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, among others.

“It’s always a thrill to have someone of Terell’s caliber to teach and perform with our student groups,” Mensch said. “Many of our students aspire to be professional musicians, so it’s a phenomenal opportunity for them to work alongside the pros, learning from and performing with the best in the business.”
TJC Jazz Ensemble 1 students and their hometowns are: Blane Benson, Longview; Taryn Blackerby, Troup; Michael Conrado, Canton; Collin Damskov, Tyler; Andrew Fitzgerald, Forney; Zach Holcek, Tyler; Faustino Lara, Palestine; Uriel Martinez, Jacksonville; Patrick McClain, Lindale; Cameron Miller, Tyler; Levi Moore, Lindale; Dustin Nino, Rusk; Parker Phillips, New Diana; Parker Rathbun, Tyler; Kaylen Rhodes, Springtown; Mark Simmons, Houston; Austin Stanberry, Rockwall; and Jace Thomas, Chandler.  Special Guest Artist is George Faber on piano.

TJC Jazz Ensemble 2 students and their hometowns are: Joshua Anschutz, Lindale; Blane Benson, Longview; Isaac Bernardo, Kaufman; Hayden Bethany, Mansfield; Michael Conrado, Canton; Jaden Coon, Conroe; Marli Dority, North Lamar; Hunter Grubbs, Brownsboro; Lupe Hernandez, Tyler; Sebastian Hernandez, Marshall; Sam Hicks, North Richland Hills; Collin Hill, Lindale; David Holcomb, Tyler; Jordan Juarez, Lufkin; Georgia Kirkpatrick, McKinney; Victoria Martinez, Tyler; Thomas Mullins, Chapel Hill; Joshua Phakvang, Anna; and Rylee Risner, Canton. 
TJC Jazz Ensemble 2 director is Micah Bell, TJC music professor.
UT Tyler Jazz Ensemble students and their hometowns are: Paul Arriola, Tyler; Sharon Beck, New Diana; Robin Bibeau, Whitehouse; Giant Boykin, Ponca City, Oklahoma; Vance Cassidy, Arp; Gavin Clarke, Van; J.T. Foote, Greenville; William Michael Fry, Mineola; Jordan Jackson, Tyler; Dylan McCann, Texas City; Elijah McClain, Nacogdoches; Lucila Meráz, Springtown; Peter Merts, Springtown; Raúl Padilla, Dallas; Mason Thomas, Magnolia; Douglas Toler, Brownsboro; and Jordan Wyatt, Longview.
Director for UT Tyler Jazz Ensemble is Dr. Sarah Roberts, assistant professor for saxophone and jazz studies at UT Tyler.

“It’s a thrill to see the impact the arts have on our East Texas community and, more specifically, the amazing jazz culture that continues to grow here,” Roberts said. 

“Through amazing programs such as the ETSO Jazz Spectacular and the generosity of community arts supporters, students of all ages are able to learn from world-class musicians. Plus, connecting the arts community through collaborative events such as this further demonstrates the comradery and community spirit that has always been inherent in the jazz culture. It’s truly an honor to share the stage with our fellow TJC jazz musicians and their fantastic directors, Heather Mensch and Micah Bell.”

Master class and Jazz Jam on Thursday, Nov. 21
Stafford will host a master class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at Liberty Hall.
Area students, faculty and community members are invited to attend. Admission is free.
That evening, Stafford will join the TJC and UT Tyler groups for a Jazz Jam from 6 to 9 p.m., at True Vine Brewing Co., located at 2453 Earl Campbell Parkway in Tyler. The public is invited, and there is no cover charge.
For more upcoming TJC Cultural Arts events, go to


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