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Celebrating Big Band Music and a TV Icon

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Answer: Cal State Fullerton, Friends of Jazz and The Johnny Carson Foundation.

Question: Name three groups that are keeping big-band jazz alive.

Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent and other characters from Carson’s long-running “The Tonight Show” are coming to Cal State Fullerton for a Saturday, Nov. 5, celebration of the big-band music so cherished by the TV icon. The Johnny Carson Foundation and Fullerton’s Friends of Jazz organization, which supports music appreciation and education in the community, are helping to keep big-band music alive through the support of the University’s jazz studies.  

The 1-2 p.m. discussion and video presentation in Room 113 of Visual Arts Building A will include rarely-seen footage of the NBC Orchestra and bandleader Doc Severinsen from “The Tonight Show” archive, as well as guest speakers Jeff Sotzing, president of Carson Entertainment Group; Bill Cunliffe, professor of music and director of the Cal State Fullerton Jazz Orchestra; and Nick Batinich from Friends of Jazz. The event is free and open to the public.

The Johnny Carson Foundation’s recent $100,000 gift to the School of Music provides scholarships for incoming music students.

“For 30 years, Johnny Carson shared his love of big band jazz with America by employing the best big band on television,” said Sotzing. “The Johnny Carson Foundation is honored to continue an investment in this music by creating The Johnny Carson Scholarships in Jazz to recruit and retain talented jazz students in the School of Music at Cal State Fullerton.”

The College of the Arts program is in conjunction with the Clayes Performing Arts Center’s Sunday, Nov. 6, 10th Anniversary Open House, which will include a concert featuring the Fullerton Jazz Orchestra with guest artist Doc Severinsen.

A University map is available online

More information about the event is available online

Media Contact:
Sarah Muñoz, 657-278-3801