All that jazz


Katie Zee

The Department of Music was proud to present their Jazz Ensemble I winter concert Friday, Mar. 10. Professor Michael Hackett directed the show at Light Recital Hall in the Center of the Arts. 

The show started off with a light-hearted piece, literally entitled Fun Time by Sammy Nestico. This was a great opener to kick off the show.

The next piece was Invitation by Bronislau Kaper, arranged by Frank Mantooth. This one starts off slow and understated, then builds up. The sound grows and decays nicely, creating sections that are upbeat and sections that are more somber.

Then, my favorite piece of the night was played. This one is called Self Help is Needed by Oliver Nelson. The song is catchy, and the sound swells and fills the room at its climax.

The next song played was Never Said (Chan’s Song) by Herbie Hancock. This was a little special because it was arranged by Matt Harris, a well-known jazz musician and professor, specifically for UW-W. While introducing this number, Professor Hackett expressed his appreciation for the composer, Herbie Hancock, recalling how many great jazz artists have been lost within the last few years, but Hancock is still alive and well. The song itself is dreamy and brings up feelings of reminiscing.

The next song played was The Turnabout by Benny Carter. I found this one to be pretty cool with its two saxophone solos.

Dreamsville by Henry Mancini, arranged by Frank Mantooth, was next. This one was a shorter, relaxing piece to bring the evening down to its close.

We were left with Ya Gotta Try by Sammy Nestico, the same composer who wrote the first piece that was played. This one was a classic jazz piece that rounded out the night well.

The jazz students of UW-W did an amazing job bringing each of these pieces to life! What’s next for the jazz scene in Whitewater? Well, there’s the UW-Whitewater High School Jazz Festival Mar. 17 and the Chamber Singers and Vocal Jazz Concert Mar. 19. There’s lots of music ahead at UW-Whitewater this spring.