Willamette Jazz Collective presents unique twists on popular songs at free concert

Most people do not associate Britney Spears with jazz music, but that might change after the Willamette Jazz Collective concert on April 24.

The free concert — the group’s final performance of the year — will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Rogers Rehearsal Hall at Willamette University. It will feature twists on such popular music as Spears’ song, “Oops, I Did it Again,” which will be performed as a jazz waltz with a 1930s-style cabaret interlude in the middle.

The group’s other selections include a metal-inspired arrangement of “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” and an original piece written by the entire band. The concert will also feature guest trombonist and composer Matt Moresi.

Led by music professor James Miley, the Jazz Collective is one of Willamette’s premiere instrumental performance ensembles. The group of student musicians includes a rhythm section with horns and a classical string trio. The band premieres works from emerging jazz composers, re-imaginings of popular songs and compositions written by students.

The band is developing a steadily growing fan base on campus, and Miley encourages the Willamette community to attend the event.

“Anyone who has never heard this group before will be completely taken aback by the maturity and quality of the group's performances,” he says. “They will definitely want to hear them again.”