By Emerging Leaders Ambassador and Guest Writer Rachel Luebbert.
The notes of the saxophone flood the air, quivering like a butterfly’s wings. Then, the piano paints the space in a melodic portrait. The percussion pulses the room with rhythmic vibrations. The music is soft and tender, but at the same time driving and powerful. It demands all of your attention, all of your presence. Suddenly, the trumpet calls out, dancing with new, spontaneous notes and the other instruments follow this line of improvisation as they embark on a new journey. This is jazz music.
On Thursday 2/16 at 7:30PM this jazz music will flood the walls of Libby Gardner Hall during the Jazz Spotlight Concert. Denson Angulo will conduct three different groups; the Jazz Ensemble, a large band of 17 musicians, the Red Hot Jazz Quintet, and the Jazz Repertory with 10 musicians. Each of these students auditioned to be a part of these bands at the beginning of the school year.
John Kim, a fourth year student studying Jazz Bass Performance will be performing with the Jazz Repertory Band on Thursday. Kim explained that this is his first year performing with a larger group, “A big band is a very different experience and my role as a bass player is to be rock solid in time and feel.” The Repertory Band will be performing arrangements created by Kris Johnson, which are standard selections with an added twist of metric modulation and his own flair. The show will also feature exciting sections of improvisation. The Repertory Band, for instance, will transition between order and spontaneity where the improvised sections will be predetermined in length and instrument, yet there will still be a freeness and a sense of play as the musicians create new strands of notes in the moment.
Jazz music runs deep through the veins of the United States. Christopher Kaukali a senior studying Jazz Guitar Performance describes jazz as “the Great American art form”. This music was not adopted from another country but was born on our very soil. John Kim explains a common misconception, “Often people group jazz and classical music into one lump of ‘historical music’. However, jazz music is the music of our past as Americans. It is a never-ending protest. More than ever, it is important to not forget what this music is saying.” So come to the Jazz Spotlight Concert, to play an active role in keeping Jazz alive and continuing the never-ending protest for social justice and individual expression.
Date: 2/16 at 7:30PM
Location: Libby Gardner Hall
Tickets: UofU Students tickers are free with ArtsPass (Ucard), Other Students are $3, General Admission is $9, UofU Faculty, Staff, and Seniors are $3.