Big Band Mardi Gras Concert Program - Feb 10, 2024 - McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC)

Big Chief
By Earl King & Professor Longhair (1964); Arr. Paul Westbrook. The song refers to Mardi Gras Indian groups; an important part of the African American Mardi Gras tradition. The African Americans in New Orleans who first formed "Indian groups" did so as a tribute to the Native American tribes in the area who took in runaway slaves in the pre-Civil War era.

Ol' Man River
By Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II (1927); Arr. Bill Holman
New Orleans sits on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River (Ol' Man River). The song contrasts the struggles and hardships of African Americans with the endless, uncaring flow of the Mississippi River.

Basin Street Blues
By Spencer Williams (1928); Arr. James Morrison
Basin Street is the main street of Storyville, the red-light district of early 20th-century New Orleans, north of the French Quarter. The song was first recorded by the great Louis Armstrong.

Carnival Time
By Al Johnson (1960); Arr. Paul Westbrook. One of the most played and requested classics of the New Orleans Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras Mambo
By Frankie Adams and Lou Welsch (1953); Arr. Paul Westbrook. Recorded in 1954 by the Hawketts, whose membership included Art Neville, a founding member of the Meters and the Neville Brothers.

Second Line
Traditional; Arr. Victor Goines. Sometimes called "The Joe Avery Blues," this tune dates back to the early New Orleans style, and was recorded by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Bourbon Street Parade
By Paul Barbarin (1949). The song is an example of how early marching bands influenced New Orleans jazz. It has become a Dixieland classic and New Orleans Jazz standard.

Go To the Mardi Gras
By Professor Longhair & Theresa Terry (1949); Arr. Paul Westbrook
This song is an iconic carnival season theme in New Orleans. Henry "Roy" Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair or "Fess" for short, was an American singer and pianist who performed in New Orleans.

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
By Eddie DeLange and Louis Alter (1947); Arr. Ed Wilson. First heard in the movie New Orleans in 1947, where it was performed by Louis Armstrong and sung by Billie Holiday.

Struttin' With Some Barbecue
By Lil Hardin Armstrong (1927); Arr. Alan Baylock. Lil Hardin was playing piano in King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band when she first met Louis Armstrong in 1921.

Makin' Whoopee
By Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson (1928); Arr. Dave Wolpe. First popularized by Eddie Cantor in the 1928 musical Whoopee! Dr. John and Rickie Lee Jones won a Grammy in 1989 for their rendition.

They All Ask'd For You
By Zigaboo Modeliste & The Meters (1975); Arr. Paul Westbrook. Recorded as a joke while in the studio, it was released and became a hit anthem for the Audubon Zoo, and for all New Orleans.

When The Saints Go Marchin' In
Traditional (Luther G. Presley & Virgil Oliver Stamps copyrighted it in the 1900's); Arr. Dean Sorenson. This traditional black spiritual was popularized by Louis Armstrong in 1938.

Mardi Gras and New Orleans Traditions

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) has been celebrated in New Orleans since 1699. It was introduced by the French, who celebrated the final day before Lent. The weeks up to Fat Tuesday are celebrated with balls, parades, marching bands, King Cakes, masks, costumes, and revelry. There are several songs that have become associated with Mardi Gras, including Carnival Time, Mardi Gras Mambo, and Go To The Mardi Gras.

The music of Mardi Gras is tightly woven into the musical fabric of the city of New Orleans – the birthplace of jazz. There is a distinct rhythm of the New Orleans street beat. There is the Second Line that follows behind the main section of the parade (the first line). Second lines are also associated with funerals. The march to the gravesite is usually a solemn occasion, but the march away is a joyous celebration of the deceased’s life.

Louis Armstrong was a global jazz ambassador and is one of many great and influential musicians from New Orleans. These musicians helped form the music we know as jazz – and they shared it with the world.

“Laissez les bons temps rouler” is a Cajun French phrase that translates to “Let the good times roll.” That’s our goal for this concert. 

February is Black History Month (From Jazz at Lincoln Center)

In the late 19th century, this music we love originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana. Influences of African and European musical traditions, Afro-Caribbean styles, as well as musical innovations like Ragtime and Blues—all performed in the many musical settings of New Orleans—provided the crucible for Black musicians to build a new style that would reshape popular music throughout the world.

Indeed, over its one-hundred-year evolution Jazz, much like our own American Democracy, has matured & shifted through the ages. This musical expression belongs to people all over the world with unique cultures and life experiences.

We believe jazz is a metaphor for democracy. We believe that notion of this improvisational music was inspired & born from previously uncategorized Black musical traditions; it celebrates freedom and encourages personal expression. That freedom would not be what it is without the contributions of African American people. Jazz was born out of the black community.

Jazz is Black Excellence

Guest Artists - Chris McGuire & Rodney Booth

Chris McGuire holds a Masters in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, where he performed in the One O'Clock Lab Band. He currently teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington. He plays saxophone and clarinet with many bands - both locally and around the world.

Rodney Booth received his degree in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas and was a member of the renowned North Texas State One O’Clock Lab Band. He traveled across North and South America and Europe with Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd Big Band.

Texins Jazz Band

The Texins Jazz Band is a full 18-piece big band based in Dallas, TX. The band is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. From 1986-2019 the band operated as The Texas Instruments Jazz Band and was organized through the Texins Association (Dallas, Texas) of Texas Instruments. The Texins Association ceased operation in 2019 and the band became the Texins Jazz Band in 2020. The majority of band members have STEM based degrees and careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

The group formed in the summer of 1986, sparked by an ad placed in a TI company newspaper. The band quickly reached a sustainable level and has remained active since its inception. Almost everyone played in high school and/or college and is glad to have an outlet to continue to study and play jazz. The band rehearses every Tuesday night at Dallas College, Richland Campus.

Texins Jazz Band Roster

Director: Bill Centera

Paul Westbrook (President) - B.S. Mechanical Engineering
Alejandro Vera (Treasurer) - M.S. Electrical Engineering
Gerry Burnham - Ph.D. Electrical Engineering
Kevin Kraus – B.S. Electrical Engineering
Tom Hilbun (Secretary) - B.S. Chemical Engineering

Dan Canterbury – Guest Sub
Kenn Finn - Bachelor of Arts
Marco Samperio - DMA Trombone Performance
Ken Kunz - Instructional Designer

Rob Jonas - Medicaid Biller - Texas Health Resources
Brian Bass – B.S. Computer Science
Andrew Kortze – B.S. Electrical Engineering
Fred Marinko - Founder of Graytex Papers
Dennis Doane - B.S. Mechanical Engineering

Bill Sallee (bass) – M.S. Electrical Engineering
Terry Bartlett (guitar) - M.S. Electrical Engineering
Mike Coldewey (piano) – Software Developer
Chris Lichtenberg (drums) – Ph.D. Electrical Engineering

Nicole Bernard – B.S. Advertising - Business

Sound - Carl Askew
Librarian - Lily Corbitt

Upcoming Concerts

Make sure you are on our email list to get updates on future concerts, including discounts for being on our list:
Sun, Apr 14, 2024, 7:00pm - Concert at the Eisemann Center in Richardson with international vocalist Cyrille Aimee. Sign up on our email list above for a ticket discount.
Sat, Jun 22, 2024, 7:00pm - Summer Concert to celebrate our 38th anniversary. Fannin Hall at Richland College - FREE
Sun, Nov 11, 2024, 7pm - Joint concert with GDYO Jazz Orchestra and guest TBA

Past Programs

2020 - current
pre 2020

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