Ladies and gentlemen, JSU Jazz has returned with an intensity of astronomical proportions.
This year’s program consists of three big bands, a Latin ensemble, seven student combos, and even a faculty combo. The bands and combos will be performing in rotation Monday nights at Java Jolt from 7-9pm.
Jazz students had the opportunity on Monday night to see their professors in action.
“It’s so important that we take the opportunity to watch our very own teachers perform,” says jazz trombonist Coy Hewlett. “Our teachers are some of the best professionals around, so it’s essential that we take advantage of the resources presented to us, rather than being forced to travel to Birmingham, Atlanta, or other large scale cities just to see a gig.”
It is the goal of the JSU Jazz Studies Program to provide students with a demanding yet enjoyable environment for the learning of improvisation, theory, jazz styles, and ensemble performance concepts.
The Jazz Program offers all JSU students, music majors, non-music majors and students enrolled through the office of Continuing Education the opportunity to perform in jazz ensembles of recognized excellence.
Because of the improvisatory element basic to jazz, participation in JSU Jazz Ensembles offer an important and unique opportunity for all students to develop their creative process.
“Each student is required to do a solo, no matter if we are novices or have been playing in the jazz style for years. It’s all about confidence,” says jazz percussionist Latrice Green.
The jazz professors make it very clear how important it is for the individual musician to constantly improve him or herself in an effort to benefit the whole, mainly by practicing and watching other musicians.
“It’s not just about the students watching me perform,” says Dr. Chris Probst, the newest addition to the David L. Walters Department of Music. “The kids have to treat every gig or performance as an opportunity to learn. Any concert, gig, or performance of live music that they can get to is essential to their education.”
In small cities such as Jacksonville, the amount of culture – or lack thereof – can be heavily and positively influenced by students that are willing to bring their own interpretation of the world to us in the fabulous form of music.
JSU Jazz does a phenomenal job of opening our eyes to what’s out there and showing us the bigger picture. After all, cultural exposure is a key element in the growth of cities and the minds of their citizens.
JSU Jazz continues to grow and surprise the university every year, while also providing something wonderfully different to our small corner of the world.