Latin Jazz Concert

The Academy Jazz Band filled the Cochran Chapel with lively melodies and rhythms as it presented its second concert of the school year. Most of the featured music was Latin Jazz, which is music influenced by themes and beats from Latin America. The audience enjoyed the exotic sounds from the ensemble, and musicians were pleased with the audience turnout, considering the hectic schedules of most PA students. The concert featured two ensembles, a full Jazz Band as well as a smaller group of musicians, both directed by Instructor of Music Peter Cirelli. The bands’ repertoires included “Blue Bossa,” by Kenny Dorham, “Afro Blue,” by Mongo Santamaria, “Alma Llanera,” a folk song from Venezuela by Paquito D’Rivera, “Brazil,” by Ary Barroso and “King of Timbales: A Tribute to Tito Puente,” by the Cuban-born percussionist and Juilliard graduate Tito Puente. “Latin Jazz is a key part of Jazz history, and it’s very fun music,” explained Cirelli. “The theme for this concert was an easy choice.” He hoped that through exposure to Latin American music, the members of the ensembles would learn about Latin Jazz styles while becoming more coordinated teams of musicians. Cirelli and the musicians clearly succeeded in many aspects of playing together as an ensemble that they had worked on throughout the term. “The rhythms especially were hard to coordinate,” remarked Cirelli, “But both groups held together really well.” It seemed common consensus that this performance turned out better than any of the previous rehearsals and that overall, the mistakes were minimal. Despite the crowd of Juniors observing from the balcony while satisfying Music 210/220 requirements and a the rows of musicians’ relatives and friends, the spacious chapel seemed mostly empty. Alto Saxophonist Aditya Mithal ’10 observed that while audience turnout was better than expected, “We’d like to see the chapel filled next time.” He also noted, “It’s enriching, especially if you’re not exposed to jazz music… it helps you appreciate jazz.” Pianist Max Meyer ’08 added, “Diversity is a key value at Andover. Coming to different types of concerts helps embrace that diversity.” Cirelli, reflecting upon the many responsibilities of PA students, said, “I hope people will always go out and do things just for enjoyment, whether it’s visiting the Addison gallery or attending a concert. These are the small steps we can take towards greater cultural enlightenment.”