SUU Jazz Ensembles fall concert review

Southern Utah University’s Jazz Ensembles performed their fall concert on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Heritage Center Theater.

The SUU Department of Music Jazz Ensembles are auditioned groups that focus on practicing and performing at a professional level.

“Working up to this concert has been a huge learning experience for the entire band,” said music education major and alto saxophone player Tarren Overson. “The directors have worked hard to help us prepare an amazing concert.”

The theme of the concert was to bring back the soul of jazz legends with swing tunes from composers like Sonny Rollins and the Pat Metheny Group.

Chris Kuhlemeier directed Jazz 3, the first ensemble performance of the night and also played auxiliary drums for Jazz 1. This ensemble was the smallest, but that did not stop them from executing trumpet, bass guitar, alto and tenor saxophone and drum solos that kept the audience entertained. 

Jazz 2, the second ensemble performance, was directed by the newly appointed Director of Undergraduate Music Technology McKay Tebbs. Tebbs has a doctorate from the USC Thornton School of Music and over 20 years of experience as an educator. 

Jazz 2 had two pieces featuring vocals by Emeline Mortezazadeh. They closed with “Torque,” a funk piece by Alan Baylock with a trombone section solo. 

Dr. Adam Lambert directed Jazz 1, the largest ensemble that started with the high-energy Latin tune, “Malaguena.” Many of the pieces featured solos from tenor and alto saxophones, piano, drums, bass guitar, trumpet, auxiliary percussion and vocals. 

Every director interacted with the audience, introducing their players and pieces with background information to active, constant cheering.

“There is a special magic in the air when music is being created live in the moment,” said Overson. “Music for me is a huge part of how I live my life and sharing the culture of jazz music with the audience allows me to have a euphoric experience I can’t get anywhere else.”

The music department has several recitals and concerts coming in the next few weeks. Students can find additional event information and schedules on their website

Story By: Addie Horsley
Photo Courtesy of SUU Jazz Ensembles