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The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

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The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Jazz Ensemble Concert Brings Together Music Lovers at Donovan’s Pub

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Joshua Repp

Select groups from Colgate University’s Concert Jazz Ensemble performed alongside Visiting Director of the Colgate University Jazz Ensemble Joe Carello and trumpet accompanist Gary Soloman at Donovan’s Pub for their end-of-semester concert. The concert took place on Friday, Dec. 1, and it was a chance for new and returning jazz musicians to show the skills they’ve learned throughout the Fall semester.

Performers at the Ensemble Concert registered in a class taught by Carello and met on Tuesdays and Thursdays, learning many jazz skills and classics. 

“I just wanted to accommodate different levels of experience, and I wanted everybody to feel comfortable playing,” Carello said. “So we had this [Large Combo] group that memorized their songs, and then we had the Little Big Band group, kind of like the traditional Colgate Ensemble, and the kids that had been in the band previous semesters wanted to do some different material on their own, so they closed the program.”

Carello originally came to Colgate during the Fall of 2022. Carello also teaches at Onondaga Community College, LeMoyne College and Hamilton College. In addition to his teaching, Carello has also had a performing career and has performed alongside musicians like Aretha Franklin, Diane Schurr, Maureen Mcgovern and Frank Sinatra Jr. 

The concert opened with the Large Combo group performing “Sugar” by Stanley Turrentine, “Tune 88” by Jeff Lorber, “Little Sunflower” by Freddie Hubbard, “Autumn Leaves” by Joseph Kosma and “Killer Joe” by Benny Golson. During these performances, the group performed entirely from memory and implemented skills they had practiced during the semester, including improvisation and solos.

“We basically learned a lot of material by rote where I would just shout out chord changes and teach melodies to the horn players,” Carello said. “And the first part of our program on Friday night was those songs where they had no music stands and just performed.”

Second to perform was the Little Big Band, a band smaller than traditional Big Bands that still performs many iconic jazz classics. They performed “Blackbird” by Paul McCartney, “St. James Infirmary” arranged by Tom Davis, “Annapolis Sail” by Daniel Jamieson, Joe Carello and Mike Concannon and “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington.  

Third to perform was the Select Combo, which performed “Strasbourg/Saint Denis” by Roy Hargrove, “Witch Hunt” by Wayne Shorter and “All the Things You Are” by Jerome Kern.

Lorraine Joseph was the concert manager of Friday’s performance and encouraged many students to perform in front of their peers.

“These concerts give the students an opportunity to perform publicly. They also showcase the work that has been done throughout the semester,” Joseph said. “It is wonderful to watch students from across campus and the Colgate community attend these concerts to support their friends, often in an area that they themselves do not participate in.”

While many musicians who performed are not music majors, all of them use the jazz band and additional music extracurriculars as opportunities to explore and enjoy music creation.

“They have a hunger for creative outlets, so they’re involved in a lot of stuff,” Carello said. “I think they all need the creative thing that touches their soul — that element in their lives — because it opens them up in a direction that maybe the rest of their life doesn’t, and it also enhances it certainly. And even if they were doing other things, I think it’s a win-win if they spend some time with music and jazz because you get to create.”

Holding the concert at Donovan’s Pub proved to be a great place for students to stop by and join the concert, something that members like sophomore Alex Baals Kall are grateful for.

“I’ve been in jazz band since I came to Colgate, and this semester we had more people join than ever before,” Baals Kall said. “Now that we’ve doubled in size, we have the opportunity to play a wider variety of tunes. All the new members have made great progress over the semester to give our band its own new dynamic.”

Senior John Lanigan attended the concert for a project about jazz at Colgate.

“Jazz is a pretty interesting form of music that I don’t know much about, but I was interested so I wanted to learn more about it,” Lanigan said. “I think the solos were great. I think they sound good as an ensemble, but when you get to focus on one of the instruments, you can see the skill level of these musicians.”

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About the Contributor
Joshua Repp, Assistant Arts & Features Editor
Joshua Repp is a first-year from Toledo, OH with a potential concentration in political science and a potential minor in Chinese. He has previously served as a staff writer for the News, Arts & Features and Baker's Dozen sections. On campus, Joshua is a marketing coordinator for Colgate Portfolio, intern for the division of arts and humanities, and participates in intramural table tennis.

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