Bebop jazz was initially heard in the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and has since transformed into one of the most creative endeavors any musician can undertake. With this in mind, Southeast's newest faculty ensemble, the Jazz Sultans (formerly 'The Sultans of Swing'), was organized in the spring semester of 2006 by Robert Conger, and focuses on performing bebop jazz in all its many forms. This scintillating jazz quintet performs bebop jazz at its finest with a diverse array of music from Duke Ellington to Sonny Rollins to Dizzy Gillespie. The Jazz Sultans play several differing styles of bebop, from cool jazz to hard bop and of course the blues. The versatility of the classically trained musicians in the group is evident in the shift from classical style to the style of jazz.
The faculty members of the group are Matt Yount on piano, Jay Contrino on drums, and Robert Conger on trombone. Also featured in the combo is Sam Godwin, Southeast alumnus who performs on the electric bass and Michael Goldsmith (tenor sax) who teaches at Mineral Area Community College. The Sultans can be frequently heard at the Buckner Brewing Company in downtown Cape Girardeau.
For booking information or scheduled performances, please contact Robert Conger at (573) 651-2398.