Merced arts season has a jazzy opening

09/21/2013 12:00 AM

09/21/2013 1:49 AM

A jazz concert featuring a vocalist from Merced launches the arts season tonight at the Merced Theatre.

Jenni Samuelson will close the show for the Merced Symphony Pops Gala, conductor Henrick Jul Hansen said.

“Jenni is a soprano and she is awesome,” Hansen said. “We also have a handful of some of the finest jazz musicians from Northern California.”

The evening starts around 6:30 p.m. with a reception at the Merced Theatre at 301 West Main St. The music begins at 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Merced Theatre Foundation, the 90-minute concert features 45 musicians playing classic jazz pieces composed by George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and others.

The evening is sponsored by the Merced Symphony Association, Hansen said.

He said it was the largest-scale concert to kick off the season in Merced in his experience.

“We play ‘An American in Paris,’ which is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time,” Hansen said. “It’s all a theme music from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s.”

Concertgoers are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite figures or characters from those eras.

Tickets are $39 at the door and students pay $14.

More information can be found online at

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