Left-To-Right Standing: Max Matzen, Trumpet; Mike Christiansen, Guitar; Todd Fallis, Trombone; Jon Gudmundson, Sax; Greg Wheeler, Sax; Jim Schaub, Bass Guitar. Seated: Jason Nicholson, percussion.

Utah State University-Moab will host a free concert performed by the Aggie Music Project (AMP) 7 p.m., Friday, March 8 at the Marc Gallery.

The concert will feature elements of jazz, funk, rock and big band. Attendees can expect to hear common favorites and unexpected surprises that could only be delivered by this unique ensemble of musicians in their first performance.

“We don’t just play classical and jazz music, we do so much more than that,” said Jon Gudmundson, associate professor of saxophone and director of jazz studies. “Jazz and classical music combined amount to about five percent of the music consumed in this country and we didn’t want to limit ourselves.”

AMP is composed of eight accomplished and talented musicians who are all USU faculty members. The group includes Max Matzen, Mike Christiansen, Todd Fallis, Jason Nicholson, Jon Gudmundson, Greg Wheeler and Jim Schaub.

“Every member of this group loves classical music, and jazz, and rock and roll, and funk, and Bulgarian Womens’ Choir, and dozens of other musical styles,” Gudmundson said. “Every member of the ensemble brings a vastly eclectic musical background to the table, having performed in a ridiculous number of different musical styles.”

Each member specializes in the trumpet, saxophone, piano, percussion and/or guitar. They also oversee and instruct jazz music and techniques at the Logan campus. While teaching is a passion, performing is what they love best.

“We are all seasoned musicians who have played jazz for decades and really enjoy spending the time with each other recreating the jazz standards and classics,” said Todd Fallis. Fallis regularly records in the studio in Salt Lake City having played on recordings for CNN, ESPN, Discovery Channel, ABC Monday Night at the Movies theme and other well-known television shows.

All of the band members bring a unique combination of education and professional experience to their musical recreations.

The group started practicing at the first of the year and attempt to fit in a practice at least once a week for an hour.

“Getting eight faculty members to clear their schedules for any one thing is next to impossible,” Gudmundson said.

While the group performed at the music state convention in early February, the concert held in Moab will be their first-ever public performance. Caine Jazz Combo, a USU student ensemble will open for the AMP and also help out on additional pieces where extra voices are needed.

AMP was founded to explore all types of music, beyond just the fundamentals of jazz and classical. Their mission will help prepare USU students to be more successful in today’s world of music. This concert is a part of a performing art series presented by Utah State’s Caine College of Arts. The series will tour USU’s regional campuses in efforts to promote performing arts throughout the state.

“It is a service that we and the university provide for our extension campuses,” Fallis said. “We will let Moab know what we have going on at USU and what our music program has to offer.”