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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA to bring all that jazz with 31st Annual AZ Jazz Week

    A musical celebration is coming that will make the UA swing, tap its toes, and salsa.

    The 31st Annual AZ Jazz Week, hosted by the UA School of Music will begin March 8 and continue to March 12.

    “”The jazz week is devoted to celebrating as many kinds of jazz as possible,”” said UA trombone professor Moises Paiewonsky, who will perform with the Faculty Jazz Ensemble, conduct the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble and perform with Grupo Manteca.

    “”Sunday night is devoted to swing, Monday is going to be more modern, Tuesday and Wednesday are big band nights and then Thursday is actually kind of a salsa night.””

    Events begin Sunday night with Jeff Haskell and Friends: “”It Might As Well Be Swing.””

    “”It’s kind of an overview of swing through a musical show,”” said Paiewonsky. “”The band consists of the pros around town and a couple of faculty members.””

    Jeff Haskell, coordinator of jazz studies and a piano player, believes that the liberty a musician has within the music is an essential element of jazz.

    “”It embodies a great deal of freedom in the same way that improvisation embodies freedom,”” he said. “”There are certain rules, but at the same time the freedom that improvisation affords human beings is a great thing indeed.””

    The opening events will take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 8 in Crowder Hall. Admission is $9 for general admission, $7 for seniors and UA employees and $5 for students.

    The Faculty Jazz Ensemble will perform Monday. The ensemble is made up of faculty from the UA School of Music and a guest artist, Jason Carder, a doctoral student in trumpet and the director of the concert jazz band.

    Carder says playing jazz music keeps him on his toes.

    “”There’s a lot of interaction between musicians when you play jazz,”” he said. “”There’s a lot of interaction in classical music, but jazz is just on the moment. Anything could happen, and it could go in any direction at any moment.””

    The concert is at 7:30 p.m. on March 9 in Crowder Hall. Admission is $9 for general admission, $7 for seniors and UA employees, and $5 for students.

    The UA Concert Jazz Band, directed by Carder, takes the stage on Tuesday. The ensemble will be playing music in the big band style.

    Carder gets to see a jazz band from both sides: from the podium and from the center of the band.

    “”When I’m conducting it, I’m just trying to help the players on stage do their best job possible, and mainly that’s from hours and hours of rehearsal time,”” he said. “”When I’m playing it, it’s more my responsibility to be there to not get lost, so my concentration has to be very high when I’m playing. I have to have a higher concentration when I’m playing.””

    The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 10 in Crowder Hall. Admission is free.

    The UA Studio Jazz Ensemble, directed by Paiewonsky, performs with guest artist Brian Lynch, a Grammy winning trumpet player, on Wednesday.

    “”The top jazz band will be doing a lot of Latin jazz, big band music,”” he said, “”because our guest artist, Brian Lynch, is a trumpeter who specializes in Latin jazz and has written some big band arrangements, and so we’re playing his charts.””

    This concert is the main event of the week.

    “”The headlining night is usually the Wednesday night where the studio jazz ensemble plays,”” Paiewonsky said, “”because it’s the top school of music students playing with the guest artist.””

    Jeff Siegfried, a saxophone performance sophomore, will be playing alto saxophone with the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble. For him, jazz is about simple, hidden undertones.

    “”I like the nuances and style in jazz,”” he said. “”There’s a lot about jazz that’s not really spoken. There’s a lot about the way that you play it, the way that you make it sound right. You just communicate in that kind of language.””

    The UA Studio Jazz Ensemble concert is at 7:30 p.m. on March 11 in Crowder Hall. Admission is $9 for general admission, $7 for seniors and UA employees, and $5 for students.

    The celebration will conclude on Thursday with Grupo Manteca, led by saxophonist Hiram Perez.

    The group will perform Latin jazz, salsa, mambo and cha-cha-chá, he said. The performance will be one that cannot be duplicated.

    “”Our performance in particular is completely different than anything else going on there during the week,”” Perez said. “”During the week, it’s more traditional jazz and big band and we’re going to bring a little more fire, the Latin flavor.””

    Perez enjoys the lack of restrictions that jazz musicians face.

    “”The improvising, the creativity, the ability to play solos at any given moment, on the fly,”” he said, “”that’s one of the things that I enjoy most.””

    Grupo Manteca will perform at 7:30 p.m. on March 12 in Crowder Hall. Admission is free.

    The variety and multitude of events offers something for everyone.

    “”Every night is going to be something different, so it just depends on what you’re into,”” Carder said. “”There’s a lot of opportunities.””

    Overall, the week is a celebration of jazz, but is also meant for students at the UA.

    “”Since I started it 31 years ago, I always thought that it was meant for the students,”” Haskell said, “”so that the students and professionals could interact, and I think it enhances a student’s education when those kinds of things can happen.””

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