LAKE JACKSON — A Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer will play alongside Brazosport ISD students Tuesday night at Brazoswood Buc Band’s annual Jazz-o-Rama concert.

For the past two years, band directors at Brazoswood High School have worked to secure a commissioned piece of music and performance by Los Angeles-based artist Gordon Goodwin, Band Director Martin Montoya said. This is a special way to honor Brian Casey, the retired band director who taught for 31 years at Brazoswood, he said.

Goodwin is the director of L.A.’s Big Phat Band and is one of the biggest names in jazz music today, according to a news release. The free concert will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Clarion at Brazosport College, 500 College Blvd., Lake Jackson.

The annual concert features the jazz bands of Clute Intermediate School, Lake Jackson Interm-ediate School and Brazoswood High School, the news release states. Anyone whose lives have been touched by Casey or who appreciates jazz music should plan to attend, Montoya said.

“We usually have a pretty packed house,” he said. “Hopefully we will have all the seats filled.”

The band directors initiated the process to hire Goodwin to commission and perform the concert for Casey shortly after Casey retired in May 2017, Montoya said. It took a long time since Goodwin is “in demand all over the world,” but Montoya thinks the fact the event is educational and Goodwin will perform with students from seventh through 12th grade helped with their appeal, he said.

This is especially exciting for students who have performed Goodwin’s music throughout the years, Assistant Band Director D.J. Eisenhart said.

“He’s a big name,” Eisenhart said.

The fact that Goodwin composed a piece called “Legacy” for Casey makes it even cooler, he said.

“Don’t miss the world premiere of ‘Legacy’ written by Gordon Goodwin and commissioned in honor of Brazoswood’s retired band director Brian Casey,” Eisenhart said.

This concert is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, he said.

The jazz students will not only watch Goodwin perform, but perform by his side, Montoya said.

“It’s very rare, not many schools get that opportunity,” he said.

Casey works with a lot of clinics, so they wanted the commissioned music to be a piece he could take with him and use in the future, Montoya said. Having all of these elements together will make the evening extra special, he said.

“We’re really excited,” Montoya said. “We hope to have a big crowd out there it should be a really great night.”

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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