All that jazz

Jazz band takes stage with showcase on March 18th

Trinity Collins, Entertainment Editor

Jazz hands.

The Jazz Band will performa wide variety of jazz influenced music in the auditorium on Saturday, March 18 from 1 to 3 p.m.

“Jazz has played an important role in history distracting America from its harsh realities of inequality, bringing people from all backgrounds together,” sophomore Meadgine Ilmet says. “It’s a musical art form -one that can turn heads and capture the essence of big, bright music.”

The March 18 showcase is a Big Band concert and the final concert for the small jazz groups. The music in the concert works its way up until the very final piece, a send off for the seniors in the Jazz Program. Various Genres will be performed, such as latin, swing and even funk charts. Pieces having different tempos will make for a well-rounded repertoire.

The following Monday, March 20 it is Jazz Band Day. District 65 and 202 Jazz Concert is an opportunity for middle school jazz musicians to hear the top jazz big band play. They also get to hear their peers from other schools.

“The goal is to inspire the kids in a way that professional musicians can’t,” senior Elisabeth Finkel says. “We’re more relatable; we’re their siblings and neighbors.”

The middle schoolers are given a motivational boost to make the top big band, which performed last year in the State Music Educational Festival and in a jazz club in Washington, D.C.

“Jazz carries a lot of importance because it is such an expressive genre so it gives players a lot of freedom,” senior Bailey Minzenberger says. “The feeling of swinging with your band is an fantastic one.”

Jazz music has expanded the horizon for creative expression through music immensely. Improvisation became the focus of the music; composition became more of a template for musicians in jazz, unlike other genres.

During certain jazz pieces, musicians may take a solo. The performer composes music on the spot, similar to a rapper who freestyles. However, for jazz, the soloist has to find appropriate pitches and rhythms that fit the complicated musical form. With jazz music’s mix of written-down music and improvisation, the soloist has to carefully navigate through the music.

“The improvisation of jazz gives me an intimate and unique connection with the people I play with,” senior Evan Stitley says. “It’s a way of communicating without words. It’s helped me listen more to the group and play for the music instead of for myself.”

Jazz is considered America’s first true musical art form. It was born right here in America, and Chicago played a huge part in developing it. Music genres like rock n roll, R&B, hip-hop, pop and motown owe a lot to the development of jazz.

Three different jazz groups will play different styles on March 18: Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band and Lab Band. The event will also include performances by jazz sub-genres like swing, latin, ballad and jazz-fusion. The concert starts at 1 p.m. and admission is free.