Save the best for last

The concluding performances of the Monday Night Jazz Series promise to send the Jazz series out on a high note.

Tonight USF will host Guitar Summit, an instrumental jazz guitar concert. Featured performers are Mel Bay recording artists LaRue Nickelson, Vic Juris and Corey Christiansen, along with the USF Jazz Faculty Rhythm Section.

“It’s going to be a good concert,” music performance major and jazz enthusiast Matt Mill said. “LaRue is a powerhouse in himself. Put LaRue, Vic and Corey together and something big is going to happen.”

There is no doubt that has been the case in the past. Tonight’s artists will join a long list of performers who have highlighted the Monday Night Jazz Series. Since it began in 1996, the Monday Night Jazz Series has featured Jon Faddis, George Adams, Larry Willis and a host of other big-name jazz musicians.

Guitar Summit’s members lay claim to many accomplishments. According to , Vic Juris has played guitar since he was 10, self-taught in the styles of blues, bebop and swing, and now has 12 albums to his name. He is an international hit, playing tours in Europe and Japan, and has recorded an album for a German label.

According to , Christiansen has been playing since he was five years old. Along with numerous awards, Christiansen received his masters in jazz performance from USF, where he also taught jazz guitar for a short while. Today he performs, records and co-authors Mel Bay’s popular Essential Jazz Lines, among other things.

USF’s School of Music website said aside from being a big name in the Tampa jazz scene, LaRue Nickelson is USF’s own jazz guitar instructor. He has toured in Italy and South Africa and performed at the 2000 International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in New Orleans. He has been a member of Chuck Owen’s Jazz Resurgence and has his own group called the LaRue Nickelson Trio.

The Monday Night Jazz Series is wrapping up its ninth year. Performances take place on the last Monday of every month, along with a master class for students and faculty taught by the featured artist. The final installment of the Monday Night Jazz Series will be April 25th, featuring the USF Jazz Ensembles I and II.

Tonight’s concert begins at 8 in the Music Recital Hall, Tampa campus, FAH 101. Big names draw big crowds, so show up early to get a seat. The price is $12 at the door, $6 for students and seniors.