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Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 8/12/04
 
Leif PedersenAl BellettoClick on image for publication quality photo
Left, Leif Pedersen; right, Al Belletto
SOUTHEASTERN JOINS HOT AUGUST NIGHT WITH PEP RALLY AND JAZZ CONCERT AT COLUMBIA
      HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University will join in downtown Hammond’s Hot August Night on Friday, Aug. 20 with a pep rally and a jazz concert at the university’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.
      The pep rally, scheduled for 5-6:30 p.m., will herald the upcoming Lions football season with performances by the Spirit of the Southland marching band, Lionettes and cheerleaders, said Alumni Director Kathy Pittman. It will also feature remarks by President Randy Moffett and football head coach Hal Mumme.
      As a finale to Hot August Night, the Al Belletto Big Jazz Band featuring vocalist Leif Pedersen, will take the Columbia stage at 8 p.m. 
      The pep rally is free. Tickets for the jazz concert, $15, are available at the theater box office in the Columbia lobby, 220 E. Thomas St., 985-543-4371. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m., weekdays.
      A member of Southeastern’s Music Hall of Fame, Pedersen was the founder of the Students of the States, a popular university singing group in 1970s and 80s.  As a student, he performed in the music department's productions of "Oklahoma," "Carnival" and "Brigadoon." After leaving Southeastern, Pedersen was manager of live shows and entertainment at Six Flags over Georgia, coordinator of student activities at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and coordinator of special events and alumni programming for Tulane University.
      Throughout the years, he has maintained a busy performing career with his own night
club acts in Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New Orleans. He toured internationally for six
years as featured soloist and manager of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He also has been featured vocalist with the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra and the big bands of Woody Herman, Pete Fountain, Ronnie Kole, and Herb Tassin. He has appeared with Belletto’s band for the past decade.
     Alto saxophonist Belletto has been featured in every major jazz room in the United States and Canada and in many countries abroad. He is a regular at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and at the French Quarter Festival, which he helped found. Among his many entertainment credits, he was music director and organizer of the Al Hirt Big Band, featured soloist at the Sugar Bowl and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and Louisiana Jazz Federation Artist of the Year.