JSU Jazz certainly attracted the masses last Wednesday night at Ona’s Music Room in Birmingham, Alabama. The house was packed the entire night for JSU Jazz’s latest appearance at the esteemed club, and each band was able to experience the amazing crowd.
Jazz III kicked off the night by welcoming back guest conductor Chris Knight to lead them through their first number. Dr. Tony McCutchen, one of the percussion professors for the David L. Walters Department of Music, was featured on drum set for the final piece of Jazz III’s set.
One of the impressive things about this round of jazz was not only the instrumental soloists, but the talented vocalists. Stephen Corbin and Matthew Palmer, both jazz trombonists, demonstrated their vocal skills in Jazz III and Jazz II, respectively. They both exhibited a natural charm found only in big band jazz music.
Jazz II was assisted by trumpet professor, Dr. Christ Probst, along with Dr. Tony McCutchen.
Jazz I ended the night, beginning with the jazz favorite “Extra Credit,” and Dr. Probst was also welcomed with open arms to perform
with Jazz I. They also performed their own brand of jazz metal with the Radiohead tune “Everything in Its Right Place” and “Body Snatchers.” They ended the night with another Jazz I favorite, entitled “Lickety Split.”
The music was amazing as usual, and the staff at Ona’s was wonderfully friendly and attentive. The students loved the experience, and Ona’s is known to promote live music. More information about booking and upcoming events at Ona’s can be found at http://onasmusicroom.com/.
All three big bands conducted themselves in a manner more amiable than other programs can say, despite being outside of Jacksonville.
“Playing at a venue outside of Jacksonville was an extremely different experience,” says jazz trombonist, Noryetta Hall.
The students were able to take in the grandeur of the place without it distracting from their playing ability. Each student certainly seemed excited to let their colleagues know that there is more to music than what most experience in Jacksonville, Alabama, and each was able to take away something different from their performance at Ona’s Music Room.
“My favorite thing about Ona’s was the atmosphere,” says bass guitarist Jeffery Dailey. “I actually felt like a professional when I performed there.”
The musicians were, most importantly, able to network and connect with other professionals, some even getting the opportunity to line up a gig in the near future.
As much as many on campus would like to keep the talented musicians harbored in Jacksonville, it would not be fair to the rest of the world. There is a need to share the music, talents, arts, and thoughts of JSU.
JSU Jazz is not here to prove how talented they are at the moment, but to illustrate the importance of persistence, perseverance, and overall, improvement and influence. As the bands travel and perform, they get to show the world not only how skilled they are, but also how much promise they have.
The next major JSU Jazz event will be the 2014 JSU Jazz Festival, featuring the Jeff Hamilton Trio, to be held on Friday, March 14, 2014.
For more information on JSU Jazz events, donation opportunities, and official JSU Jazz merchandise, please visit http://jsujazz.webs.com/.