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1  In-Class Critiques / Jazz Concert Critiques / Re: Community Jazz Band 4/7 on: April 23, 2010, 06:18:19 am
Re: Natasha4466 Post

Natasha, you are absolutely right in regards to "the girl with the amazing voice." She should have been personally recognized for her wonderful performance. It's a shame that she was not introduced! She was the BEST performer there!

2  In-Class Critiques / Jazz Concert Critiques / Re: Frost Jazz Vocal Ensembles I & II 4/8 on: April 22, 2010, 09:23:23 am
I had to seriously rearrange my schedule to attend the Frost School of Music Jazz Vocal Ensemble concert and I am extremely happy that I did!
I have visited Gusman Concert Hall many times for different musical events, so I knew right away that I was definitely going to be in for some “good stuff.”

The concert started off with Vocal Ensemble III, directed by Rachel Lebon. The group was a sextet consisting of 2 sopranos, 2 altos, 1 tenor, and 1 bass. The instruments that accompanied them were 1 piano, 1 bass, and 1 drummer.

Their first song, “All The Things You Are,” had a one-minute voice only introduction followed by the instruments. Although the sextet had clearly practiced for their performance, one male vocalist had a solo moment where he was scat singing, and it sounded like he was improvising. I was very impressed with the first performance.

The second song “Beautiful Ballad” was not in the program. They added one guitar for this performance. The song started with two male vocalist singing solo. I was moving to the beat during this performance.

The highlight of the sextet was their last performance, “Bon-Bon Blues.” The sextet was scat singing the song, and the interaction between their voices was very impressive.I was able to pick up the AABA form in most of the songs they sang. I enjoyed seeing the interaction between the sextet and their director, it was evident that Ms. Lebon was thrilled with their performances.

The second set of performers was the Frost School of Music Jazz Vocal Ensemble II, directed by Vivian Ortega. The ensemble consisted of 18 singers, equally distributed, 9 males and 9 females, 5 sopranos, 4 altos, 5 tenors, and 4 basses. Their rhythm section included 1 pianist, 1 bassist, 1 guitarist, and 1 drummer.

In their first performance, I was able to determine that the song “Jeannine” had the AABA format. The song included 1 male and 1 female scat singing.
Their second performance was sung a cappella, “Like Someone in Love.” Their togetherness, strength of mind, and voice was felt throughout the concert hall.

They sang six other songs, so I will highlight the ones that really moved me.

“Double Rainbow” was a slow beat bossa-nova song. It featured a female soloist singing in Portuguese.

The song “Watch Out” was sung by the female singers only. They added an electric bass guitar to the performance for a solo.

My favorite performance of the evening was the song “All Feets Can Dance.” The male voices did the drums and bass sounds while the females were scat singing mixed with English lyrics. Although it was clearly a jazz song, the ensemble gave it a “rap” beat that had the crowd dancing in their seats.

For their grand-finale performance, they added 1 trombone, 1 tenor saxophone, and 2 trumpets to their rhythm section. The song “The World Goes Round” gave all performers their “solo” moment, which was a nice touch as a tribute to each of them for their hard work.

I had an excellent time at this concert. My only regret is that unfortunately, my wife was unable to attend with me. It would have been great to share this concert with her. I will be looking forward to future concerts being put on by the Frost School of Music.

Michael Fernandez
3  In-Class Critiques / Jazz Concert Critiques / Re: Community Jazz Band 4/7 on: April 21, 2010, 07:29:47 pm
On April 7th, 2010, I attended a jazz concert at Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus. This concert was held by the Community Jazz Ensemble and directed by Jim Broderick. I was lucky enough to have arrived at the auditorium 30 minutes early to be able to interact with the musicians as they arrived. It was interesting to see that the group was diverse with ages ranging between late-teens to late 40’s. I immediately wondered what the music was going to be like. Once I entered the “auditorium,” I realized that it was just a big room set up with round tables and chairs like a café. I was pleasantly surprised that they even had complimentary refreshments for the visitors. When the musicians started to set up, I was barely able to see them. From what I gathered, there were 4 trombones, 2 trumpets, 2 guitars, 1 bass, 1 drummer, 1 piano, 3 tenor saxophones, 1 alto saxophone, and 1 set of bongos.
As the concert began, a female vocalist started to sing scat. The room was noisy with visitors still coming in trying to find seats and I was unable to hear the title of the song. I was barely able to hear the vocals over the instruments as well. It didn’t appear that the room was prepared to handle such a large crowd and so many instruments. The song did include a trombone solo, which really made the musician standout. I especially liked the walking bass sound throughout the song. I was intentionally trying to look at how the bassist was handling the instrument, but unfortunately I was unable to, due to the distance from where I was, and other performers that were in front of him.
The second song was called “When Sonny Gets Blue,” it was sung by a male vocalist. This song was upbeat and included a piano solo. The vocalist in this song was also barely audible due to the instruments sounding much louder than the voice projection coming over the speakers. I slowly started to become disappointed at what I was unable to “get” from the performance because of where the concert was being held and the way the seating was distributed.

The crowd (mostly college students) was finally able to relate to the music when the third song was played. The song “The Way You Look Tonight” was sung duet by the female and male vocalist. They had an excellent performance and it was evident that they practiced enough to master their performance.

My favorite performance of the evening was a bossa-nova song called “No More Blues.” There was a female vocalist that sang in Portuguese. I particularly enjoy listening to bossa-nova. The director, Jim Broderick, played a solo on the cornet, which I thought was an “out of this world” performance. The guitarist also had a solo moment. After the song finished, the director went on to explain that he was playing a cornet and the similarities of that instrument to a trumpet.

The final performance was a song called “Grand Slam.” It included a trombone solo. They couldn’t have finished off the show with a better song. I felt as if each instrument had their moment of distinction, almost like the instruments were talking to each other.

The concert was approximately 30 minutes long. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was impressed at what a wonderful show the young musicians provided to their audience.  Another classmate stuck around after the show and spoke to one of the saxophone players which explained to us, the different saxes that were used in the performances.

Michael Fernandez
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