John Moawad's All Star Big Band - CD recording
All proceeds benefit the John Moawad music scholarship program at Central Washington University
Founded and taught continuously since 1947, the Central Washington University Jazz program has always enjoyed a national reputation for home-grown excellence.
Beginning in the '90s, every summer John would assemble outstanding former students into and all-star band to close the Jazz in the Valley Festival. Seats in this band were covered, with players nationwide returning to work with "coach" Moawad again.
John passed in late 2009. At his 2010 "celebration of life" more than 750 attended, anxious to keep the Moawad legacy alive. After much hard work from many, the Jazz in the Valley Band now bears his name, as does a scholarship endowment, the CWU Invitational Jazz Festival, and Coaches coffee shop. ...then this CD project was born.
When word leaked out of this first-ever CD release from Jazz in the Valley, chairs in the band filled instantly, with a waiting list. Musicians donated their time and talent in two marathon CWU recording sessions over 2011's Spring break.
This album observes Moawad's imperative to program "something old, something new, something tried and something blue." But most are updated in new settings.