Jazz concert based on board game concepts

“Do Not Pass Go” is based on the concept of the Monopoly man. This may seem strange for a jazz concert, but it makes a statement that this ensemble means business.

Director of the university’s jazz ensemble Nils Landsberg wants people to attend the concert Nov. 19 because “we take what we do seriously.”

Sophomore psychology major Brandon Rodriguez, who plays the trumpet, said, “What’s different about this concert compared to one in the past is that what we’re playing is harder. We’re being more musically challenged than last year.”

The songs will come from a wide spectrum ranging from blues, ballads, shuffle charts, modern funk and many others. There will be songs from 1931 as well as tunes from 2003.

Landsberg said, “Jazz is an ensemble that has truly been an American art form since it was born in America. It creates music for the sake of art.”

Because it is such a diverse  genre, jazz brings students from all walks of life together.

Rodriguez said, “Everyone brings something different to the table. We all come from different musical backgrounds like rock, funk, classical. One of the girls, Sabrina Ozio, is even making her own country album now.”

The ensemble practices Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour and a half. Each of the 20 members is also responsible for a 30-minute sectional outside of rehearsal.

Landsberg said, “I make them (practice) so the students can have more ownership of the group. They can get involved, give me ideas and ask questions.”

After their upcoming concert, the ensemble will not perform again until March 4 when they go on tour to Memphis where they will sing in  churches and high schools. This is used as a recruiting tool to get the name of UMHB out there.

Trombone player and junior music education major Andrea Mercer said, “It’s really neat to see how far we come musically in a few short days while we’re on tour.”

The concert is Nov. 19  at 7:30 p.m. at Hughes Recital Hall.

The director encourages “people on campus to hear what we have. This concert is going to be really good, and I’ll be completely surprised if no one likes it,” he said.

Landsberg thinks very highly of the opening number  for the “Do Not Pass Go” performance.

He said,  “Not only are we featuring one of our faculty, Stephen Crawford, but our opening tune is basically going to punch the audience in the jaw. It’s going to have a big impact.”

Author: Jenna Magness

Bio info coming soon!

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