Samford’s Jazz Band will perform Thursday, Nov. 1 in Brock Recital Hall.
Jazz Band member Olivia Jones shared her experiences in the band. “Jazz Band is always a really fun part of my week. Our rehearsals are really laid back and we have a really good community within the group.come to our concert and experience some big band jazz before homecoming,” Jones said.
Jones and her fellow musicians are gearing up for their fall concert. The performance is focused on showcasing the students’ talents, with a wide variety of music styles and instruments. The concert is free and open to anyone who wants to attend.
In the Jazz Band, there are a wide variety of instruments, including the saxophone, trombone, trumpet, along with a rhythm section including piano, bass, drums and a vibraphone. The band has already been active this year, going on tours and attempting to recruit new students. They view their performances as a way to showcase the school and its music department. While it may be geared towards music majors, the Jazz Band accepts any student with musical talent.
This particular performance will feature many different music styles.
“We will play all kinds of music, from swing to Latin to rock. We like to mix it up,” Jazz Band Director Grant Dalton said.
There is no set theme to the show, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. While Dalton chooses most of the music that is played in the show, he likes to allow the students to have input. He tries to choose music based on the abilities of the musicians.
When it comes to solo performances, Dalton said he likes to mix it up and give every student a chance to showcase their talents. There are people who want to do a solo, and those that want to be in a section, but everyone has a fair chance. It is mainly based on skill, he said.
While everyone is excited for the performance, Dalton says that “the real excitement is in the rehearsal process.” The students get to bond over their love of music and hone their talents in a positive environment.
“Jazz Band is always something I look forward to. Our rehearsals are always full of positive energy and it’s great to see everyone come together to make some fun music,” drum player Kerry Joiner said.
Dalton gave a little sneak peak about the show. One song they will be playing is “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.” It is a traditional gospel song, but they will be putting their own twist on it, making it a more New Orleans jazz style. Many of the songs they play will have new elements to it, based on what the students enjoy and excel at playing.
The Jazz Band performance may conflict with the school’s homecoming dance, but the students believe that they will still draw a large crowd. They are practicing diligently to give the best performance that they can. With the different, fun elements of the show and the variety of people performing in it, every member of the audience is likely to find something they enjoy. It is also a great way for families to come and see the progress that their children are making, or even for prospective students to see the talent that Samford University can produce.
Emily Thomas, Contributing Writer