An Acoustic Awakening

The Navigator

Photo by Grace Singer

The light tree in the St. Marks Chapel on Wednesday provided the perfect mood for “An Acoustic Awakening.” The traditional “Jazz in the Black Box” became “Jazz in the Chapel” as the sounds resonating through the sanctuary mirrored those of an intimate city hub hotspot with barstools and comfy chairs.

Unsurprisingly, the change in location did not threaten the quality of the music.

“I thought it was mind blowing,” said Scott Bates, sophomore at JU. “As a classical player it opens my mind and makes me excited.”

Four jazz combos played sets that ranged in tempo from tender to tough to tropical.

Jasmine Clements sang an insinuating “Sentimental Mood” that generated a sensational ambiance.

“That song reaches me in that bluesy, darker emotional part of jazz that the funky and swing jazz doesn’t,” Bates said.

Clements also accompanied JU Combo 1 in a fast paced, scat version of “Yesterdays,” by Jerome Kern.

Each selection was sandwiched with bursts of applause as the audience eagerly responded to each soloist performance.

JU Combo II’s performance of “Walk tall” by Joe Zawinul caught the ear of first time jazz concert attendee Misha Fraiman.

“I liked it because it was funky and the most psychedelic,” said Frajman, sophomore at JU. “The slap bass definitely killed it.”

Alto Rhea Durke‘s red lipstick and resonant tone matched the spicy smooth tango tune called, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.” She sang to the cool sounds of JU Combo II.

There was a brief intermission before the faculty hit the stage and showed students that they are more than just talking heads.

As the audience nodded their heads in agreement with everything they were playing, the JU Jazz Faculty Combo played like the seasoned specialists that they are.

“Why Don’t I” was a jazzy song with flair that featured John Ricci, visiting assistant professor of jazz studies at JU.

Drummer Ricky Kirkland awed the audience with his rhythmic solo that had a myriad of inflections.

The show was a lovely display of talent that is known to leave listeners wanting more.

“Last semester I came for a class requirement and knew I wanted to go again,” said Alae Sakr, freshman at JU. “The music always takes me to a good place and there are never bad souvenirs, always good ones.”

Sakr appreciated the opportunity the concert gave her to get out and ease her mind.

“I have exams all this month and that is why I needed to come to relax,” Sakr said. “I always enjoy it.”