The Hillcats, Hillsdale’s jazz ensemble composed of several jazz faculty members, will perform this Friday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. in Plaster Auditorium. Admission is free, and no tickets are required.
The concert, called Pure Imagination, will feature a variety of jazz music. The ensemble will highlight five of Hillsdale’s eight jazz faculty members, with Lori Lefevre as vocalist, Chris McCourry on the trumpet, Dan Palmer on the guitar, Hank Horton on the bass, and Larry Ochiltree on the drums.
“The concert will include different tunes like Stevie Wonder tunes, some stuff from the ’80s, as well as some standards like Duke Ellignton,” Chris McCourry, the ensemble’s director, said. “We’re also doing a ‘Walk On By’ tune, a ‘Tower of Power’ tune, and a tune called ‘What is Hip.’”
McCourry said he is delighted to have Lefevre, Hillsdale’s jazz voice instructor, as vocalist. Lefevre is thankful for the opportunity to perform, and especially looks forward to singing the old jazz standard “In a Mellow Tone.”
“It’s always fun to perform for the students because, in the teaching capacity, they don’t really know you as a performer,” Lefevre said. “I think it’s important for all of us in the jazz department to perform so that the students can see the things that we’ve been talking about in action.”
McCourry said the ensemble is heeding COVID-19 precautions by requiring masks, blocking off the front stage area, and encouraging people to spread out and use the balconies. He said he’s very grateful he can still hold concerts, whereas most other musicians he knows have been forced to cancel their tours.
“I really am lucky that I can put on concerts, and it takes my mind off everything else,” said McCourry.