dawn_baston_1.jpgMIAMI GARDENS — Florida Memorial University’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts is producing a new jazz initiative, with two things in mind: great entertainment for the community and exposure for talented musicians.

“Blue Monday” is a jazz night, featuring an 18-piece orchestra and other ensemble combinations including vocal ensembles, in the Band Room at Florida Memorial, 15800 N.W. 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens. The core group will feature professional musicians, but any intermediate and advanced students are welcome.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our students and the community to experience the joy of creating and re-creating, with professionals, big band music,” said Dawn Batson, chair of Visual and Performing Arts at Florida Memorial.

Batson said the orchestra will be used for arrangers/composers to expose their work and hone the skills of aspiring young musicians.

Melton S. Mustafa, associate professor of music and director of Jazz Studies, is an internationally known jazz musician who will be one of the “Blue Monday” principals.
“We are striving for musical excellence,” Mustafa said. “This project forms part of our ongoing efforts to reach that goal.”

Special note: Melton Mustafa also will be featured in “Florida Memorial Presents Melton Mustafa in Concert, presenting Lion’s Pride and Negroni Trio,” Saturday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m at the Lou Rawls Center for the Performing Arts at Florida Memorial University.

General admission tickets are $35; high-school and middle-school students $15 with student ID. For more information call 305-626-3600.