Jazz concerts have become an excellent for of entertainment for many people in the United States and other cities across the world. Jazz is a genre of music that pioneered in the first half of the 20th century. This form of music was popularly preferred by the African America communities that lived in the southern part of the United States. At that time, jazz music was a fusion between the European and African traditional music. Even up to date, jazz ensembles still posses some traits that are popular among Africans and European, traditional music. Jazz ensembles mostly consist of the mixture and use of swing notes, syncopation, improvisation and blue notes (Music-210).
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Recently, I had an opportunity to attend a jazz ensemble. The concert was held in Huntington recital hall, a popular venue for all types of musical shows in America. The concert was well organized right from the ambiance inside the hall to the general environment around the venue. The audience was up for the performance of the year. They turned up in large numbers and early enough for the jazz ensemble. The composition of the audience was of mixed races. This fact defied an old believe that jazz music was a preserve of black Americans. The audience was quite cosmopolitan in the sense that one could not associate this genre of music with any culture or race (Music-210).
This jazz ensemble was unique, contrary to other jazz concerts that I have attended before; this performance consisted mostly of contemporary jazz songs. The composition of the ensemble was incomparable, right from the renowned saxophonist Stan Smith the performance flew seamlessly from one rhythm to another. The concert started at around 8.00 pm and went on for one hour till 9.00. The performance explored the famed jazz performances of early 1920s to the latest works of popular jazz artist like classical composer Stan Kenton.
This successful jazz concert was organized ably by faculty jazz ensemble Rob Parton. The person in charge of the trumpet was Michael Cox. The saxophone was played by Stan Smith and Mark Flugge handled the guitar. Jazz ensembles are never complete without the input of a piano and drums. The drums crew consisted of Bass and Breithaupt. The duo was quite instrumental in the performance. Their versatility and ability to transient from one tune to another smoothly made the performance enjoyable for the audience. Just like in a typical jazz ensemble, this performance depended heavily on double bass and percussions to attain the standard jazz rhythm. This was easily achieved because the crew had members that had a profound knowledge in Jazz (Music-210).
The enthusiastic audience could easily discern how the orchestra mixed balanced their instruments to give a thrilling evening performance. As it has been a tradition, jazz ensembles focus mostly on rhythm created by percussions. Jazz performances borrow heavily from classics performed in early 1990s and mixture of contemporary performances. Unlike contemporary music concerts like rock or hip hop, jazz music adheres strictly to classical music taught in schools. Instruments have to be arranged and performed professionally. This is the reason why jazz ensembles are mostly attended by the old or middle class people.
It was also noted from the arrangement that jazz music richly founded on African and European music tradition. The manner in which, Michael Cox played, and tossed around with his saxophone, reminded the audience of how ancient black Americans played their instruments in the ragtime era. This jazz ensemble gave the audience a new definition of jazz concerts. I personally learned that jazz is a genre of music that is mostly embraced by old, rich people. In terms of performance, jazz ensembles lean heavily on group interaction, individual voices and the ability to fuse with other music styles.