Faculty Band Together in Jazz

The beating of drums, ringing of cymbals and harmonizing of guitars merged together to provide a modern, highly dynamic performance in the Faculty Jazz Concert. The concert took place last Sunday in the Timken Room of Graves Hall.

The show started off with “Never Will I Marry” by Frank Loesser. Drummer Bertram Lehmann, Adjunct Instructor in Music, picked up a lively beat, while Raleigh Green and Peter Cicco, both Adjunct Instructors in Music, strummed electric guitars. Dave Zox, Adjunct Instructor in Music, added to the ambience with his bass. The guitar solos followed a call-and-response pattern that added a colorful dimension to the layers of the performance.

“I think it went pretty well. Usually, [with] jazz performances, even if you rehearse things, they don’t come up as planned…We rehearsed all together only once. So it’s like a negotiation that’s happening simultaneously [as we perform],” said Cicco.

The next piece, “Beija Flor” by Nelson Cavaquinho, displayed a Brazilian flair that contrasted with the first piece.

While the bass and drums created a smooth backdrop, the two guitarists adopted the melody with their own unique improvisations. Lehmann traded his drumsticks for brushes, adding shimmers of cymbals throughout the performance.

“The Brazilian piece was flowy and exotic [and] very appealing. The piece, although foreign to me, gave me a tranquilizing vibe,” said Haley Taylor ’17.

In addition to percussion and guitar performances, the recital also featured separate brass performances. Pianist Bob Baughman, Adjunct Instructor in Music, added a lighthearted harmony to the brass melody played by trumpeter Vincent Monaco, Instructor in Music, saxophonist Joel Springer, Adjunct Instructor in Music, and trombonist Peter Cirelli, Instructor and Chair in Music.

The bass and piano introduced a laid-back, calming mood, while the drums set the beat in Kenny Garrett’s “African Exchange Student,” the first piece by the brass-based group. The brass instruments each lent their voices to the melody one by one, and they then all created a harmony in unison. Different tones of distinct instruments wove together, and slides and half-trills decorated the piece, adding small flourishes and vibrancy to the music.

“It was really cool to see the teachers, who have been guiding us, to perform themselves. I got to witness how they played and what they were teaching to us,” said Candy Chan ’17.

The recital came to an end with a McCoy Tyner piece, “Fly With the Wind,” which was rearranged by Zox for the performance. With sweeping runs of solo piano, the melody sounded light and swift. The two-hour concert ended with thunderous applause from the audience.

“[The concert] was lighthearted and had a very fun atmosphere. It was very relaxing and enjoyable. I’m so glad I went!” said Natalia Suarez ’17.