On Wednesday, March 10, the Jazz Combos performed their second and final concert of the semester through a live stream at the Ruth H. Barrus Concert Hall under the direction of Aaron Miller, a music faculty member who teaches double bass and assists the jazz studies program.
The concert consisted of original scores written by each of the members of the ensemble, all centered around certain styles of jazz. The ensemble consisted of a variety of instruments such as piano, bass guitar, trumpet and several others.
“Students wanted to attend because the music is appealing to all,” said Riley Allen, a freshman studying communication with a minor in music and a bassist for Jazz Combos. “Each of the members of this ensemble are music majors, which helped us to prepare for all these original pieces we performed.”
Although jazz is in the name of the ensemble, several different types of jazz such as Hard Bop, Swing, Cool and many others were featured.
“When people think of jazz, they tend to think of trumpets and Louis Armstrong, just the basis of stereotypical jazz,” Miller said. “What sets jazz and this ensemble apart from other music groups is that there are several branches of jazz and limitless opportunities to improvise, so even when you write the music and memorize it, it really can change or be altered at any time. It really keeps you on your feet.”
Despite a lot of preparation for this concert, the ensemble followed COVID-19 restrictions and standards in order to stay in line with health guidelines.
“Just like most ensembles and people, we had to wear masks, be 6 feet in between each other, and we couldn’t have a live audience,” Allen said. “Those with brass instruments, like trumpet and trombone, had to have a bell cover over those instruments, which is like a mask for the end of those instruments.”
The Jazz Combos have finished performing this semester, and as of right now no upcoming concerts have been announced. However, those interested in being a part of this diverse ensemble can sign up for auditions, which is always the first day of each semester.
For further questions and more information, contact Miller.