The seats of Lee Hall Auditorium were packed for a musical performance by Longineu Parsons and Florida A&M’s music department.
The night began with five international song selections performed on trumpet by Longineu Parson and his wife, Joanna Sobkowska-Parsons, on piano. Each selection featured a description and personal anecdote of why Parsons chose to perform the piece.
Taj Adams, 18, a biology student from St. Petersburg, Fla., enjoyed the performance and was there to support Parsons.
“Longineu Parsons is my Introduction to Music professor,” Adams said. “He told us he would be performing tonight and I had to come out. Usually in class, he just plays the piano. But it was nice to be able to see him play several instruments tonight.”
Before taking the stage to join the jazz band for the second portion of the performance, Lindsey Sarjeant described the night as a “quick taste of what they (the professors) do on a regular basis.”
“He (Parsons) is a wonderful musician and outstanding colleague,” Sarjeant said. “One of my first years teaching at FAMU, he was a student of mine and now he’s teaching the next generation of Rattlers.”
During the second segment of the recital Parsons and Sarjeant were on piano, Brian Hall on bass and Maurik Robinson on drums. They formed a jazz band rendering their version of John Coltrane’s “Equinox” and “Impressions” along with Miles Davis’ “Four,” Milton Nascimento’s “Vera Cruz,” “Footprints” by Wayne Shorter, “S.O.L Blues” by Louis Armstrong and Parson’s own “African Nights.”
Parsons wanted the audience to know he appreciated and wanted to pay homage to the musicians who came before him.
“When I first heard John Coltrane and Miles Davis play, that’s when I knew I had to play jazz music,” Parsons said.
“There was no question about what I had to do in life.”
Jared Johnson, 22, a music education student from Fayetteville, N.C., was seen front row, stage right, uncontrollably nodding his head to the live performance.
“I’m a music student here at FAMU and it’s impossible to keep me away from anything that involves music,” Johnson said.
Lee Hall housed a unique array of students, faculty and community members who took pleasure in the performance.
One student got a pleasant surprise when he entered Lee Hall.
“I just happened to be passing by Lee Hall and saw a friend walk in,” said Kelan Williams, 24, a molecular cell biology student. Not knowing what to expect, Williams joined his friend and lost track of time during the performance.
“I really like how the jazz music set a certain type of mood in the room,” Williams said. “It relaxed my mind and excited my senses at the same time.”