Jazz ensembles perform diverse genres

Jazz ensembles perform diverse genres

The Kennesaw State University Jazz Ensembles I and II performed a night of music on Feb. 16 from the varying genres and musical styles taught by the School of Music.

The performance showcased the writings of notable jazz compositions and the individual talent of the musicians, with two solos in each piece. The ensembles showed their musical mastery and artistic ability.

Before the show, Sam Skelton, the director of jazz bands at KSU, said that the audience should expect to hear a wide variety of music.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the reaction to the more unusual pieces of the second half,” Skelton said.

Under the direction of Artist-in-Residence Wes Funderburk, Jazz Ensemble II opened the night with a song entitled “Nardis.”

The performance continued with a program featuring the works of George Gershwin, Jimmy Van Huesen and Cy Coleman, and the ensemble was accompanied by a vocalist throughout three of the songs.

After a brief intermission, Jazz Ensemble I took the stage under the direction of Sam Skelton. The musicians opened with a Tom Kubis piece entitled “Ain’t it Wonderful.” Other compositions included the works of Maria Schneider, Becker & Fagen and Eden Ahbez. The audience really seemed to resonate with the performance of the Ahbez’s “Nature Boy,” a piece that had a very mellow and soothing trombone solo.

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Sam Skelton, director of Jazz Studies at KSU, leads Jazz Ensemble I during their performance on Sept. 22, 2016. Photo credit: DV Photo Video

“Even though I’m not a big fan of jazz music, I was still able to enjoy the performance tonight,” said Zoe Martin, a junior biology major. “The first piece they performed reminded of something I would hear in a James Bond film.”

KSU’s School of Music caters to students interested in performing with groups like the wind symphony, orchestra, jazz ensembles and other chamber groups. If you’re an avid listener of classical, jazz or other genres, you can learn more about the School of Music’s upcoming performances on its website.

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