Jazz groups honor late jazz legend Brubeck, Lennon in winter show

Jazz groups performing in “An Evening of Jazz” on Dec. 8 paid homage in their program to recently deceased jazz legend Dave Brubeck and John Lennon on the 32nd anniversary of his death. Before a packed Rugby auditorium, Performing Arts teacher Shawn Costantino conducted the Jazz Ensemble, Studio Jazz Band and Jazz Band in the annual winter show for the jazz program.

The Jazz Ensemble kicked off the the show with “Sister Sadie” by Horace Silver and finishing their part with “Just a Closer Walk” in memory of Brubeck, who passed away three days ago. Jazz Ensemble trumpeter Charlie Andrews-Jubelt ’13 featured in the song as a soloist.

“I was really excited to have such an exposed and expressive solo in that piece,” Andrews-Jubelt said. “Our band was especially proud of that one, so it felt good to lead the New Orleans style finale in honor of a great musician.”

On stage after Jazz Ensemble, the Studio Jazz Band performed a rendition of “Blackbird,” a Beatles song credited to Lennon.

“Everything went exceptionally well,” Studio Jazz Band tenor saxophone player Zach Saunders ’14 said. “It felt like everyone played better tonight than they had the entire year, and everyone played practically perfect on charts that we could barely even finish a few days ago. I’d say all in all, outstanding performance by everyone in Studio Jazz band and everyone in the rest of the bands as well.”

Jazz Band closed the concert with six songs, including “Us” by Thad Jones. Costantino recounted his frustration last year when he was unable to conduct due to his health, and his eagerness to return.

“I really like the piece ‘Us’ because it showcases us: me working with the group,” Costantino said while gesturing towards his students. “I enjoy working with these kids in class.”

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