Jazz bands perform in Rugby

Jacob Goodman

Jazz classes performed in “An Evening of Big Band Jazz” Dec. 14, exploring both contemporary and classic jazz in Rugby auditorium. From 7-9 p.m., upper school performing arts teacher Shawn Constantino conducted the Studio Jazz Band, Jazz Band and the Jazz Ensemble in the annual winter jazz concert.

 “The younger band, with a lot of the sophomores, played better than ever,” Constantino said. “Each different band had their highlights. They were all really good. “

The 25-person Jazz Ensemble opened the show with “When Big Bands Ruled the Earth,” composed by Larry Neeck, and closed their four piece section with “Boogie Stop Shuffle” by Charles Mingus, featuring many soloists, including Rachel Porter ’16 on the bass.

“[The song] showcases how hard we’ve been working this entire year,” Porter said.

After the Jazz Ensemble, the Studio Jazz Band took the stage to perform their five piece set, which included “Boplicity” by Miles Davis and “Chill Factor” by Gregory Yasinitsky.

“I’ve been in Studio Jazz band for the past three years, and this is the best that it’s ever been,” Studio Jazz Band tenor saxophone player Zach Saunders ’14 said.

Jazz Band closed the concert with pieces including “5-5-7” by Pat Metheny, “Ah-That’s Freedom” by Thad Jones, and “Night Train” by Duke Ellington. Tenor saxophone player Jeremy Tepper ’15 was featured as a soloist in “Ah — That’s Freedom”.

“We have a lot of good songs, and a lot of good musicians,” Tepper said. “5-5-7 especially has a lot of changes in tempo that make it really fun and interesting to play and listen to.”