Visiting artist and jazz saxophonist Chad Eby will perform with the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble on Satuday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center. The concert will feature an evening of jazz classics.

Eby, a lifelong student of music, began playing clarinet at the age of 11 and began studying the saxophone a year later. He studied jazz studies at the University of North Texas and earned his master’s degree in saxophone performance from Ohio State University. Since 2006, Eby has taught in the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Eby’s professionally commissioned works have been performed or recorded by Bill Charlap with Kurt Elling, Wynton Marsalis with Willie Nelson, and Norah Jones. To date, Eby has arranged more than 125 works for big band, small jazz combos, and chamber groups. He is credited with over 50 original compositions and has won jazz composer awards from the Ohio Arts Council (2004) and the North Carolina Arts Council (2009).

Watch the Chad Eby Quartet play “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too.”

“Jazz education is at its most effective when it is organic and in real time,” Eby says. “When you think about how the greatest purveyors of the art form learned, it was on the bandstand, with an older or more advanced bandleader teaching by example — doing the same dirty work that the sidemen were doing.”

The Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble is the flagship ensemble of the Virginia Tech jazz studies program in the School of Performing Arts. The group performs advanced big band literature of the past and present, with particular emphasis on new music by leading composers in the field.

“The music Chad Eby selected for the concert allows the ensemble to experience different styles of music than we usually perform,” said Ted Alt, a junior music major from Stuart, Virginia, and saxophonist in the Jazz Ensemble. “Multiple songs are from the Duke Ellington library and are very helpful in teaching the ensemble the mindset of one of the best big band composers in the history of jazz. Along with this, the ensemble will be playing music written by Professor Eby. His arrangements and compositions are not only exciting to learn, but they are a joy to perform as an ensemble.”

Jason Crafton, director of both the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Lab Band, expressed his excitement to be working with Eby. “Chad Eby is a rare combination; he’s a top-notch performer, a dedicated teacher, and an accomplished composer and arranger,” Crafton said. “I’m really looking forward to hearing the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble perform a concert of Chad’s.”

Tickets and parking

Tickets for the Jazz Ensembles with Chad Eby are $10 general and $7 for students. Tickets may be purchased online, at the Moss Arts Center’s box office or by calling 540-231-5300. Tickets will also be available at the box office beginning one hour prior to the performance.

The Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre is located in the Moss Arts Center at 190 Alumni Mall on the campus of Virginia Tech. Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Limited street parking is available as well. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information can be found online.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation, please contact Susan Sanders at 540-231-5200 or email during regular business hours at least eight business days prior to the event. 

Written by Donnie Bales, of Wytheville, Virginia, a graduate student studying arts leadership in the School of Performing Arts.

Share this story