Jazz Ensemble: New Director, Styles, Sounds
A new director, new styles and new sounds will highlight the annual fall concert by the Alma College Jazz Ensemble.
The performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 in the Remick Heritage Center will explore jazz music from different genres, countries and eras, thanks to new faculty director Carlos Melendez, say student members Joseph Moscheck and Duane Willson.
“Carlos has given a different direction to the group,” says Moscheck. “He brings a lot of new musical concepts and ideas.”
“This will be a really fun show for people to see,” adds Willson. “There’s something for everyone to enjoy.”
The concert, featuring a varied program of big band jazz by prominent artists, composers and arrangers, is free and open to the public.
“Big Swing Face” from the 1967 album with the same title, is an upbeat piece by Buddy Rich, who is praised by fans and critics alike as “the world’s greatest drummer.” Notable for its woodwind ensemble work, “Big Swing Face” incorporates the swing jazz sound that Rich mastered during his musical career.
The program also will feature Gordon Goodwin’s fast-paced “The Jazz Police,” Frank Zappa’s “Peaches in Regalia,” Thad Jones’ “US” and “Tow Away Zone,” and Sammy Nestico’s “Hay Burner.”
In addition to the more traditional big band and swing jazz approaches, the program will explore an array of diverse styles and sounds.
“We play a pretty wide variety of jazz,” says Moscheck. “This concert has big band, ballads, blues, funk, shuffle and even Christmas pieces. There’s definitely something on this program to stick in everyone’s minds.”
“Manteca,” composed by Dizzy Gillespie in 1947, demonstrates the stylistic diversity. In the late 1940s, Gillespie was involved in a movement called Afro-Cuban music, bringing Latin and African elements to greater prominence in jazz and pop music, particularly salsa. One of Gillespie’s most popular contributions to this genre was “Manteca.”
The program also will include “Gentle Rain” by Brazilian composer Luiz Bonfa, “Girl Talk” by Bobby Troup and Neal Hefti, and two Christmas classics: “Winter Wonderland” and “Silent Night” that have been “jazzed up” for the occasion.
The 19-student-ensemble presents two shows each school year and sponsors a jazz festival in the spring for high school jazz bands from across the state.
Posted: Mon, November 26th, 2007 at 3:41PM