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Art meets music at Polytechnic campus

September 27, 2007

A faculty member and a staff member at ASU’s Polytechnic campus are pooling their talents and bringing Art Beat to the public at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 2, at the Student Union’s Cooley Ballroom.

Art Beat brings the music of the Metro Phoenix Jazz Orchestra (MPJO) and the artwork of Michael Wirtz together for the first time.

The community is welcome to listen to the MPJO play jazz and big-band classics while enjoying the art of Wirtz, which will be on display during the concert.

Jay Busch, a lecturer of music history and appreciation courses at the Polytechnic campus, is a founding member of MPJO, a 10-piece ensemble that performs a wide variety of classic and orchestral jazz repertoire. Its repertoire traverses the classics of the big bands, as well as the significant repertoire of the hard bop and modern composers. Original compositions will be sprinkled throughout to add a contemporary mix to the concert.

Wirtz, library supervisor, has been honored by the Contemporary Forum of the Phoenix Art Museum through the organization’s Artist’s Grant Program. His work has been included in many regional, national and international shows, including the 2005 Arizona Biennial in Tucson, where he won the “Award for Excellence,” and the 2006 Americas 2000 international exhibition of works on paper, where he won the “Juror’s Award.” His work also has been featured in New American Painting, and the much-acclaimed book “Phoenix: 21st Century City.”

Art Beat is free and open to the public. For directions or information, call (480) 727-1098 or visit the Web site