Jazz ensembles pay tribute to classical artists

The packed audience sat enraptured Monday night at the “Just Jazz” concert opening with a piece called “Basically Blues.” Jennifer Lindsey, a second-year theater student, attended the concert as a class requirement, but highly anticipated some of the music selections, particularly music by Chick Corea. The concert consisted of performances from two jazz bands.

Micah Jones, a third-year music industry student, is a drummer in Jazz Ensemble II. Jones admitted that, while he was not very comfortable with the music, it was going to be a great show. He, along with many of his band mates, is inspired by classical jazz and blues musicians.

“Buddy Rich inspires me, along with Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong,” Jones said.

Jones said he is also inspired by his uncle, who taught him to play the drums when he was three years old.

One of the most popular and well-received pieces with the audience was “Opus De Funk,” which had the audience clapping along to the piece. Lindsey B. Sarjeant, director of Jazz Ensemble I and director of jazz studies, said the show consists of a variety of music from the 1930s to the present.

“We are doing a remembrance of Count Basie, a legendary big band leader, at the end of the show, written by Frank Foster,” Sarjeant said.