One of the most popular American jazz fusion bands to come on the scene, Spyro Gyra will play at the Cumberland Holiday Inn Ballroom on Friday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. as part of the Frostburg State University Cultural Event Series Jazz Club program.
Spyro Gyra has been entertaining audiences since it was founded by saxophonist Jay Beckenstein in 1975 in Buffalo, N.Y. For more than 35 years, Spyro Gyra has maintained the well-deserved reputation as having an unmistakable sound. The band has earned 10 Grammy nominations and has sold over 11 million records, earning one platinum and two gold records. Even after 35 years, Spyro Gyra keeps moving and grooving with elements of funk, pop and R&B. Their smooth, toe-tapping sounds delight audiences and reinforce why this band has remained in the forefront of modern jazz. Their songs, including their most popular hits “Shaker Song” and “Morning Dance,” are still heard on jazz and easy-listening radio stations and in venues around the world.
When the group started out, they had no name. The beginnings of the band grew out of a weekly jam session at a club in Buffalo named Jack Daniel’s. Since it was very informal, the weekly session was known only as “Tuesday Night – Jazz Jam.” As their popularity grew, the club owner wanted to put a name of the group on a new sign for the front of the club. One late night, that owner asked Beckenstein to decide on a name for his sign. Beckenstein jokingly said, “Call it spirogira.” Spirogira is algae that he remembered from biology class that is commonly known as “pond scum.” The next week, that name was on the sign incorrectly spelled as “Spyro Gyra.” It was a joke that stuck.
Tickets are $26 for adults and $18 for youth under 17. Group and corporate discount tickets are available for this show, as well as for all Cultural Event Series presentations. For more information about purchasing tickets, contact the Cultural Events Series at 301-687-3137 or visit http://ces.frostburg.edu.
This tour engagement of Spyro Gyra is funded through Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation's Jazz Touring Network program with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is sponsored in part by the Allegany Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The Cultural Events Series is supported by grants from MSAC, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business and Economic Development, MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions and two regional higher education centers within the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.