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Diva Jazz Orchestra Plays Mayo Performing Arts Center Today

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The Diva Jazz Orchestra, the all women big band, performs and afternoon of jazz at the Mayo Performing Arts Center today, April 14, 2013 at 3 pm. Tickets are $20.

Headed by swinging drummer Sherrie Maricle, DIVA exudes the excitement and force found in the tradition of the historic big bands but with an eye towards today's progressive sound of originality and verve. With New York as their home base, DIVA performs all over the world playing contemporary, mainstream big band jazz composed and arranged to fit the individual personalities and styles of the musicians themselves. Audiences can expect to hear high-energy performances packed with unique improvisation, spontaneity and fun.

The inspiration for DIVA came from Stanley Kay, one-time manager and relief drummer for Buddy Rich. In 1990, Kay was conducting a band in which Sherrie Maricle was playing the drums. Stanley immediately picked up on her extraordinary talent and began to wonder if there were other women players who could perform at the same level. The search was on and through nationwide auditions, the foundation for The DIVA Jazz Orchestra was poured in 1992 and what emerged is the dynamic musical force that holds forth to the present day.

In 2006, DIVA was voted one of the best big bands in the world in both DownBeat magazine's annual Critic's and Reader's Polls. To fully grasp how wide the appeal is of this incredibly gifted ensemble, one has only to read the catalog of prestigious venues in which the band has performed, worldwide. In fact, it's almost easier to ask the question: Where haven't they played?

DIVA boasts of a very impressive series of recordings, most recent of which is the critically-acclaimed Johnny Mandel: The Man and his Music, recorded live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and conducted by Mandel himself. Other DIVA recordings include Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, featuring supremely swinging vocalist Carmen Bradford (2008); TNT - Tommy Newsom Tribute, a compilation of charts the late Mr. Newsom arranged exclusively for DIVA (2005); Live in Concert (2002); I Believe in You (1999); Leave It To DIVA (1997); and Something's Coming (1995). Visit the "Sounds" page for track lists, audio samples, and to order.

Whether live or via recording, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra always guarantees an evening of spirited and exciting entertainment that leaves the audience on its feet pleading for more.

Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. The 2012-2013 season is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support received from the F.M. Kirby Foundation and numerous corporations, foundations and individuals. The Mayo Performing Arts Center has been designated a Major Presenting Organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Diva will play today, April 14, 2013 at 3 pm at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South St., Morristown, NJ. Tickets: $20. Box office: (973) 539-8008 or online at www.mayoarts.org.

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