The jazz show, sponsored by Blue Mountain Performing Arts, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in BC’s Harman Chapel. Admission for event is $15 for adults and $10 for students.
Calabrese, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who studied music and played with local bands until he graduated from high school, attended Concord University, where he studied music education, the saxophone and clarinet under the tutelage of William B. Caruth, Sr., a legend in music in the Greater Bluefield area.
After Concord, he worked as a high school band director while pursuing a master’s degree in music. He continued to work as a secondary school band director for 35 years before retiring to focus more on his performances.
As a performer, he has played with the likes of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Skitch Henderson, Nelson Riddle, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick, Patty Page, and Nancy Wilson.
Now living in Statesville, North Carolina, Calabrese is still active on the regional music scene with his own group, “Take Note.” He also directs the Mitchell College Community Band and continues to travel and perform, both solo and with other ensembles, at concerts and festivals around the region.
The Bluefield State College Jazz Ensemble, founded nearly 40 years ago by Calabrese’s mentor, William B. Caruth, Sr., is a community jazz band composed of players from around the region, many who hold music degrees and have been or are currently band directors.
Directed today by Bluefield’s James H. “Smokey” Shott, a longtime member, the Jazz Ensemble performs at least two concerts locally each year, but has also appeared at the Highlands Jazz Festival and at Bluefield, Virginia’s “Evening Shade” concert series.