Jazz ensemble to perform first show post-Hurricane Ida


Austin O'Brien

Students in the University Jazz Ensemble rehearse for their first on-campus performance following Hurricane Ida, scheduled for Nov. 4.

After fighting through Hurricane Ida, the 19-member University Jazz Ensemble will get the chance to perform again on campus. 

The ensemble will be performing on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pottle Music Annex Band Hall. The facility has a maximum audience capacity of 75, and masks will be required.

Three of the ensemble members are seniors who will be graduating this year. English major Nicholas Herring will be performing on the trumpet, music major Chasidy Miller will be playing the drums, and music major Josh Hebert will be playing alto saxophone. 

Herring and Miller are graduating in December, and Hebert will be graduating in the Spring.

The ensemble students are the top students in the music curriculum, according to Michael Brothers, the director of Jazz and Percussion Studies.

The music they will be playing will be a tribute to Stan Kenton, a jazz musician from the 1930s-70s. 

“Kenton is seen as the influential figure and father of jazz education. We’re excited to perform music from his career,” Brothers said. 

The music selections will be five different songs from his orchestra career, including “Stompin’ At The Savoy” by Chick Webb and Benny Goodman, “Pegasus” and “Quintessence” by Hank Levy, “Memoirs Of A Lady” by Blanca Webb and Johnny Richards, and “Live and Let Die” by Paul and Linda McCartney.

Michael Brothers, director of Jazz and Percussion Studies, instructs a student playing the vibraphone during the University Jazz Ensemble’s rehearsal on Oct. 27. (Austin O’Brien)

Preparation for the performance has been a challenge for the ensemble due to the damages to the Pottle Music Building. 

“We lost a total of ten rehearsals, and our students hadn’t had much of a chance to practice together, but they were practicing with scans of the music sheets at home. When we came back, it was a difficult first practice, but we’ve been getting better since then and are ready to perform,” Brothers said. 

Many of the jazz ensemble members are looking forward to finally being able to perform in the Band Hall. 

“I’m so excited to perform again. It’s been about seven months since the last jazz band performance, so I can assure that the ensemble is ready to show what we’ve been working on,” Hebert said.

The jazz ensemble recommends that attendees arrive early before the Band Hall reaches full capacity. The performance will last around 45 minutes, and KSLU Radio will be livestreaming the event on its Facebook page.