CCU Jazz Combo releases CD and starts a new band

As a group of recent college graduates, the members of the CCU Jazz Combo are working hard to stay together and keep making music. (WPDE)

The award-winning Coastal Carolina University Jazz Combo hopes to continue its success post-college.

CCU Jazz Combo is made up of Liz Kelley-Tavernier, Tim Hardwick, Wade McMillan, JP Taylor and McKinley Devilbiss.

The group was named Best Undergrad Pop/Jazz Group by Downbeat magazine, and even they are surprised by their own success.

"It's just kind of been beyond my expectations," Kelley-Tavernier said.

They play together, laugh together and travel together, but they say that their relationship is far stronger than shows and trips.

"I play with these guys because they push me further than anything else," Hardwick said.

Now that they are college graduates, the group says they are working hard to stay together and keep making music.

"We're trying to keep the band together. Not in college anymore, trying to go out there and make it on our own and see what happens," Devilbiss said.

With many new experiences ahead, the group says they're also changing names.

"We're putting a group together called Oracle Blue," Taylor said.

As Oracle Blue, they say they will continue their legacy and love of music.

"You can learn about life, a lot about life by playing this music, like how to converse with people and just day to day things," McMillan said.

The group just had a CD release performance Thursday at Brookgreen Gardens, but more performances are coming.

They will play Friday, August 26 at 6:30 p.m. in CCU's recital hall in the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts building. The show is free to attend.

For information about the Oracle Blue Band, visit their Facebook page.

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