The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band was created in 2000 by Tom Weidle, a Herald-Palladium reporter, and Vito Tenerelli, a St. Joseph band instructor, who both wanted to create an "artistic" jazz ensemble, one that would read only the most state-of-the-art arrangements, and perform strictly as a "concert" jazz ensemble. Tom (since departed for sunny California) and Vito, our first music director, brought the dream to fruition in January 2001 recruiting 20 of the area's finest jazz musicians to play within its ranks.
The heart and soul of the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band are music educators from Southwest Michigan. The essence of Jazz is positive self-expression and without educators like those in the band, this American art form is in danger of fading.
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