Saint Martin’s “Music @ 11” welcomes Manila Smiles jazz ensemble

The Saint Martin’s University Music Department welcomes the Manila Smiles jazz band, including member Phil Lawson, a classical and jazz guitarist and an adjunct professor at Saint Martin’s, as its guest in the first of the 2013-2014 “Music @ 11” recital series. The one hour concert, featuring original pieces written by all five members of the musical ensemble, as well as some Brazilian jazz tunes, will take place at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 17, in Kreielsheimer Hall, on the Saint Martin’s University campus, 5000 Abbey Way SE. The event is free and open to the public.

“We bring a different sort of flavor to this concert series, which typically features a lot of beautifully performed classical pieces,” says Lawson, who teaches History of Rock and Roll and applied guitar lessons to students at Saint Martin’s. Lawson, who also teaches guitar from his Music 6000 private studio in Olympia, has performed for years as a local freelance musician, playing with numerous bands of genres that, in addition to jazz, include rock, folk, bluegrass, classical, and country.

Of Brazilian jazz, Lawson says, “This kind of music combines the idea of Latin rhythms with jazz harmony.”

Joining Lawson onstage will be bassist and band originator Steve Luceno; percussionist Jeff Busch; John Croarkin, who plays saxophone and flute, and pianist Drew Gibbs. All of the musicians are familiar to Olympia area jazz fans.

The “Music @ 11” recital series, now in its ninth year, was created by Saint Martin’s University Associate Professor of Music Darrell Born, M.M., chair of the University’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts, to raise awareness of the musical arts and provide opportunities for students and the community to experience various kinds of music in a recital setting.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

Darrell Born
Chair, Fine and Performing Arts Department

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager