MAX FERTIK ’19
Jazz as a genre does not find itself often on the minds of today’s youth. There simply isn’t enough excitement in a conventional sense to attract the attention of many modern young people. Electronic music has pervaded the popular music scene in its place because of its incredible ability to keep impatient listeners always provided with new material, due to the massive number of artists who make it. The pace and consistency of this type of music attracts many young people, despite the fact that light shows and “trippy” visuals disguise its lack of a performance aspect. Jazz, on the other hand, attracts an audience intrigued by performance art and the expression through patience and improvisational acumen.
The sheer range of jazz is something that is not seen in many genres. While at first glance, it appears to be a quiet, careful genre that does what it’s told, jazz is actually an extremely risky genre that pushes the boundaries of expression and rejects the necessity of strict structure, while still retaining a unique sense of form. It scares people to jump out of their comfort zones, utilizing one’s theoretical music knowledge to play jazz is one of the most freeing and gratifying experiences that exists. Although we seldom see jazz today without looking hard, the passion has never been stronger in the people who live to perform it.
Here on South Campus, down in the basement of Austin Arts from 7:30-10 p.m. every Tuesday, the Trinity College Jazz Ensemble meets and plays a broad range of tunes. With the astonishing pianist and composer Jennifer Allen at the helm, the small 13 member ensemble creates a passionate, authentic sound that overshadows its size. On Dec. 8, the Trinity Jazz Ensemble is performing for the first time this school year at 7:30 p.m. in the majestic Austin Arts Center. The powerful rhythm section is split down the middle and made into two different small jazz combos, taking different configurations of horns for each number.
At the show Tuesday, one might be lucky enough to catch myself or Alex Rusbarsky ’18 pulling out some seasoned drum magic or even see the amazing Mali Thwala ’17 rip a conceptual guitar solo, while AJ Ballard ’16 keeps the rhythm tight on bass. Dan Hawkins ’19 and Cooper Jennings ’19 can also be found on stage putting their creative prowess to work while Doug Curtin ’16 offers his chops on the trombone. The set will be an eclectic one for Jazz enthusiasts and those foreign to the genre alike, boasting a couple of tunes from sax god Wayne Shorter, a later tune from hard bop pianist Cedar Walton, and even a pretty recognizable tune from Lee Morgan. Two Latin pieces break up the genre a little bit and offer some samba/bossa influences to the set while an easy-going Horace Silver tune closes it out. The Jazz Ensemble show will not be one to miss and will definitely be a highlight of this coming semester in the Trinity arts world. Hopefully, with the help of some prominent Trinity musicians and the mastery of Jen Allen’s conducting, this show could reveal a remarkable genre to the student body and public.
MAX FERTIK ’19