Jazz Music Entertains The New Generation

Have you ever wondered what it felt like to be in a college jazz band? To go from place to place just to make music with your small jazz quartet?

On November 4th, the Western Jazz Quartet came to play for the band and orchestra students at Loy Norrix by request of orchestra teacher Sandra Shaw.

The Western Jazz Quartet was formed in 1974. Being a quartet, there are only four members: Tom Knific (Bass), Keith Hall (Drums), Andrew Rathbun (Saxophone), and Jeremy Sinskind (Piano).

The quartet members asked students different types of questions, and students gave a variety of answers. When they asked a certain question regarding a one word response, students took guesses at the answer, but no one had the answer they were looking for: syncopation.

In jazz music, syncopation is used to make the upbeats of music louder and more pronounced. However, musicians don’t always use it, at least not all at once.

When listening to these musicians play, you can hear all the work they put in. Their dedication shows when they perform, but you can also see how much fun they have while doing it. They move as they play, swaying to the beat of the music. The musicians smiled when they saw the LN students clapping at the end of songs. They also smiled when students asked questions that went further into this style of music.

“We really enjoy knowing what the students are thinking,” said bassist Tom Knific,  “Your crew has really interesting thoughts and questions,”

The students did have some funny and interesting questions and opinions. One student even asked the model and cost of Rathbun’s saxophone. This brought out a laugh from both the students and the quartet’s members, but the quartet had some questions for the students as well.

“I love jazz, so I really liked the performance. I thought it was very educational and it taught me a lot about jazz that I didn’t already know. [Camp] Blue Lake really got me into jazz and just seeing that people in our community love jazz just as much is really important to me,” said junior Alexis Terrian.

The quartet members quizzed the students about their performance, asking “What tempo was that song played in?” or “What are the different elements of jazz music?”

If you enjoy jazz music, the Western Jazz quartet plays at The Union located in the South Kalamazoo Mall, Wednesday nights from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m, and welcome you to come and hang out for the night with your family and friends.

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