Jazz Explorers perform classics with ‘a new spin’

By Claire Hong

Jake Chapman ’12, leader of the Jazz Explorers, created an arrangement of the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for the jazz concert on March 9 and 10.

“I just wanted to put a new spin on an old classic,” he said. “I actually started in the summer, and I came up with the idea and just started working on my computer with it. I just left it alone for a few months and then I finally brought it back a month ago.”

Chapman played both the vibraphone and the piano during the concert.

Noah Weinman ’12, who is also a member of the Jazz Explorers and plays the trumpet, said his favorite part of te performance was during the song “Interplay,” when band mate Jon Alkali ’12 played a solo on his guitar.

“Jon Alkali’s solo on ‘Interplay’ where he starts off a capella and then we build it up and then we go back to the intro underneath his solo is the perfect storm of jazz,” he said.

Although that was his favorite moment, both he and Chapman agreed that their performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was the best they had ever played the song.

“It’s really hard,” Weinman said. “And [Chapman’s] arrangement is like four pages long with all these crazy rhythms, but it turned out well.”

Along with the Jazz Explorers, who were the final act on the first night of the concert, nine other combos performed.

This concert was upper school Jazz Director Shawn Costantino’s first concert since his absence earlier in the year. The combos have been rehearsing since their last concert in December.

“It was such a fun performance, and I’m really proud of everyone,” Chapman said. “The performance just came together [that night].”     


Additional reporting by Robbie Loeb