Unexpected twists cause jazz concert improvisations

By Julie Barzilay

Jazz Ensemble, Studio Jazz Band and Jazz Band classes filled Rugby Auditorium with rhythm and blues on April 30 in a jazz concert that was the culmination of a full semester of rehearsal and music-making.

“We played all kinds of music: Duke Ellington, local LA composers, Cole Porter,” performing arts teacher Shawn Costantino said. “But the focus of the show was definitely on large ensemble jazz, aka ‘big bands.’”

One highlight for Gaby Leslie ’10 was an instance of showmanship by drummer Charlie Mischer ’10. Mischer was in the middle of a song when one of his drum sticks broke, and he had to switch over to a new set without dropping the beat.

Another unexpected twist was due to Jack Healy’s ’10 multiple commitments on the night of the show, and resulted in him performing in a suit jacket tugged on over his sports jersey. He started the night spiking and setting in a 6 p.m. volleyball game against Crespi, then after two games raced across Chalmers Patio in his jersey to play a set of three jazz songs in the concert. After his set was over, he pulled off his jacket and ran back to the gym, but by then the Wolverines had lost to Crespi.

The concert concluded with a rendition of “It’s All Right With Me,” a very “up-tempo” song that Leslie said was exciting in that there was the constant “nervousness that something would go wrong and we would train-wreck.”

“But at the concert we ended up nailing it, and that just gives you this great adrenaline rush,” she said.