Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective: Sinatra at the Sands – Billings Symphony Skip to content


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Sukin Series

Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective: Sinatra at the Sands

May 20, 2023


Babcock Theatre

2810 Second Ave. N.

$20 - $40

While it’s been 55 years since Frank Sinatra recorded Sinatra at the Sands, the music remains as fresh as the day it was released. This was Sinatra at his best, performing with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra in the Copa Room of the former Sand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Vocalist Daren Small joins RMJC to perform many of the great Quincy Jones arrangements featured on the album.

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  • Local crooner Daren Small and the Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective put their own stamp on a program of Frank's most beloved tunes, as performed during his 1966 legendary run at the Las Vegas Sands Hotel with the Count Basie Orchestra.
  • Sinatra at the Sands was also Sinatra's first live album to be commercially released, and contains many definitive readings of the songs that are most readily associated with Sinatra.
  • A Sukin favorite since the chamber series began, the Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective is a Montana-grown ensemble dedicated to creating greater awareness and appreciation for jazz music and history in the Rocky Mountain region.

Guest artists


Darren Small

Daren Small is a distinguished bass-baritone soloist in the American Northwest. He enjoys sharing his passion for singing, both on stage as well as in the classroom and voice studio. Small earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Based in his hometown of Billings, Montana, Dr. Small is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at Montana State University Billings. Throughout his entire career, he has enjoyed opportunities to share his “clear and rich-timbred voice” with all audiences.


Dr. Small made his soloist debut at Montana State University during their 2006 performance of Mozart’s Requiem. Since then, he has performed as a soloist in many venues. His most recent operatic appearances include: Awakenings, Die Zauberflöte, Turandot, Aïda, The Crucible, Rigoletto, Tosca, and La Bohème. He is continually hailed as one of the finest bass soloists to sing Handel’s Messiah. His recent concert appearances include performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor and St. John Passion, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Small was also a winner of the District Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Auditions for Montana and Idaho in 2015. He went on to win the 3rdplace Encouragement Award at the Northwest MONC Finals in 2016.


While earning his Bachelor of Music Education and his Master of Education degrees from Montana State University, Dr. Small developed his passion for performance and teaching. He is an active member of the American Choral Directors’ Association, NAfME, NATS, and the Voice Care Network. He has also served as the Chorus Master for the Rimrock Opera in Billings, Montana. Many reputable soloists and educators have and continue to influence his career including Tom Baresel, Dennis Rupp, Lowell Hickman, Dr. Jon Harney, Dr. Kirk Aamot, and Dr. Steven Hart. Additional information about Daren Small can be found at

Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective

The Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective (RMJC) was created in 2019 by highly respected members of the jazz community in Montana. Through educational outreach in the community and regular performance in an environment that is best suited for listening, the mission of the RMJC is to create greater awareness and appreciation for jazz music and history in the Rocky Mountain region.

Led by Scott Jeppesen, RMJC aims to increase appreciation and awareness of jazz music through the performance of themed programs, consisting of material with cultural and historical significance to the history and development of jazz.