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Centenary Jazz Professor and Students Learn and Perform at Jim Cullum's Landing in San Antonio, Texas

Dr. Doug Rust (at piano) practices with Jazz Band students in this file photo.

SHREVEPORT, LA – Having secured a grant, the Louisiana Jazz Repertory Ensemble (LJRE) joined the famous Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio, Texas. The LJRE, directed by Dr. Douglas Rust, associate professor of music at Centenary, received three days of hands-on coaching and instruction about classic pre-war jazz and played regular sets at Jim Cullum's Landing, a restaurant on the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Based in Shreveport, Rust's six-member ensemble plays about two local gigs each month. The members of the LJRE are Rust (piano and guitar), Mark Minton (trombone), and four Centenary undergraduates, Cheri Roberts (clarinet), Kenneth Portis II (trumpet), Jeremy De La Cerda (trumpet and drums) and Terry Wright (tuba).

Rust was inspired to organize the LJRE after attending a presentation on classic jazz in which the presenter asked an auditorium filled with students, “Does anyone know who Louis Armstrong was?” and was dismayed at how very few hands went up.

“I knew at that moment that I had to do something to remedy that situation,” Rust said, “so we formed this group dedicated to preserving and presenting the great pre-war jazz created by Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and others.”

Rust is a Ph.D. graduate of Yale University and served as assistant editor of the Journal of Music Theory. Currently, Rust is working with Hal Leonard Publishing on transcribing a collection of original 1930s Benny Goodman arrangements by Fletcher Henderson.

For more details on the LJRE's experiences with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, read the full article in Jazz Me News.

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