Spring Jazz Concert
Saturday, April 29, was the Spring Jazz Concert featuring Blue Rondo Band, an instrumental jazz group, and Vox 9, a vocal jazz group. First to play was Blue Rondo, which played six songs: “Boplicity,” “Basin Street Blues,” “Waltz for Hornz,” “Walnut Creek,” “So What,” and “Blues in Hoss Flat.” In between “Walnut Creek” and “So What” the piece Summertime was played by a small select few. In the band, under the direction of Adam Rossmiller, were two alto saxophones, two tenor saxophones, a baritone saxophone, two trombones, and one trumpet. The band then had professional musicians fill in the rhythm section: bass, drum set, and piano. Vox 9, under the direction of William White, sang six songs: “God Only Knows,” “Come Sunday,” “Wings to Fly,” “Drive My Car,” “A Life for Me,” and “That’s What Friends are For.” In between the first and last three songs four of the students sang solo songs with a guest instrumental solo in each. First was Scott Kleppe who sang “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” with a trumpet solo by Adam Rossmiller. Anne Gifford sang “L.O.V. E” with a saxophone solo by Keith Williams. Logan Van Sickle sang “Nature Boy” with a saxophone solo by Josiah Bode. To conclude the solos, Laura Taranto sang “At Last” with a saxophone solo by Keith Williams. Overall, the music created a beautiful concert, showcasing every student’s vocal and instrumental talents.
The jazz concert ties into Honors 110 through imagination and emotion from the “five ways of knowing.” The jazz music fits in imagination because music is a creative art form used to describe practically anything one could think of. The pieces of music can also be used as a way to represent emotion. A person can tell the emotion in the vocal piece through the tone of the singer’s voice, the tempo, and lyrics. In Laura’s solo, one could sense the emotion of happiness in the piece through the lyrics, her uplifting voice, and the upbeat background and tempo. In instrumental pieces, it can be harder than just the title, dynamics, and tempo. One may need to know more about the genre and the piece, itself, to figure it out. Ballads are mainly romantic, giving off the emotion love and happiness. They also can be about sad, like “break up” ballad, so to figure the emotion out, titles help. Jazz can relate to Honors 120 through its history. Jazz first has its early forms from slavery as a way to help relieve some of the hardships that came with slavery. Today’s jazz has its roots from African Americans, like Duke Ellington. When jazz started becoming popular in the 1920’s and 30’s African Americans were marginalized because they were not able to show their talent to many, and had to perform to African Americans only. When technology became more prevalent and cheaper African Americans were able to perform their music on air to the masses without race becoming an issue. Because of the radio people only focused on the voice, and skin color did not matter unless it came to the radio station head. People could have just been going through the radio to find some to listen to, and when the jazz caught their attention they may have never known that it was an African American run station.
For this concert I performed in the instrumental group, Blue Rondo, and performed a solo in the last piece, “Blues in Hoss Flat.” My favorite songs that I played in were “Walnut Creek” and “Blues in Hoss Flat.” I loved the part I played in “Walnut Creek” and the saxophone melody that was throughout the piece. I was also very confident in the piece because the many practice sessions we had. I loved “Blues in Hoss Flat” not because I had to solo, but because it was one of my most confident pieces I played this whole year. From Vox 9 I really liked “A Life for Me” because the song was so touching and the soloist sang so beautifully. Another one I really liked was “Drive My Car” because I am a Beatles fan, and the vocal percussion in that piece was great. I really enjoyed working with the jazz band, but really wished we had a student rhythm section this semester. Overall, I enjoyed this concert and am proud of the performance I gave with my fellow musicians.