Jazz composer and bassist Erik Applegate, an instructor at the University of Northern Colorado, will be in Missoula this week for workshops and master classes with students, culminating in a public concert on Friday.
The concert features the three UM big bands directed by Rob Tapper, UM director of jazz studies, and Barb Shinaver, Sarah Dramstad and Ryan Belski.
All four groups will be performing music composed and arranged by Applegate, whose diverse catalog includes big band music, straight-ahead trio work, jazz-folk fusions and more.
Applegate said via email that each of the groups will perform one of his pieces.
One is "And Especially," a "bluesy, hard-swinging piece" that Applegate wrote as a tribute to Ronnie Bedford, a drummer and longtime resident of Cody, Wyoming, who played in Montana frequently.
"One July Midnight" was "composed for a group of my close musical pals in the wee small hours of a warm summer night," Applegate wrote.
"Collectivate," from Applegate's album "Red Skies," takes as its title a word Applegate coined for "collectively celebrate."
He said they'll also play a song by jazz saxophone legend Charles Lloyd called "Transfusion." Applegate recorded the tune with the Dana Landry Trio on their new album "Memphis Skyline."
Another selection "When I think of Her," which he said is "an homage to the great women each of us has or has had in our lives."
In addition to his teaching duties, Applegate also is focusing on the Landry trio and his own band Born to Wander, which has a new album out now, too.
He's composed a movement of a jazz orchestra suite based on "Romeo and Juliet," which will combine a big band with electronic loops and other computer-generated sounds.
Applegate is writing a jazz opera called "Unbound," which he hopes to premiere at UNC in Fall 2015.