The Sweetwater Combo is a jazz group named after The Sweetwater Grill and Tavern, a tasty pub-style restaurant located on the Denton Square that regularly featured live jazz before the pandemic. While live music may not be in full “swing” just yet, the Sweetwater Combo brings a crisp energy and positive spirit despite the current challenges musicians face. The group is comprised of mainly upperclassmen and graduate students, making for a seasoned ensemble capable of playing many styles. The combo’s repertoire consists of fresh arrangements of standard jazz tunes as well as original compositions written by the band members. The rhythm section — with Will St. Peter on guitar, Josh Newbury on bass, Will O’Rourke on drums, and Jaray Petty on piano — play as a solid unit, as most of them also accompany the UNT Jazz Singers, the university’s top vocal jazz ensemble. The front line includes Jackson Churchill on trombone, Trevor English on tenor saxophone, Caleb Pittman on trumpet, and Kira Goidel on voice. Their director is Professor Brad Leali, who oversees UNT’s Jazz Saxophone Studio.
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