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46th ND Jazz Festival takes place this weekend

Brandon Hollihan | Friday, February 27, 2004

Those of you looking to truly take advantage of this weekend should not miss the yearly opportunity to hear sounds and melodies that unfortunately suffer from a lack of exposure on campus. The Notre Dame Music Department presents the 46th annual Collegiate Jazz Festival, that started Wednesday and runs through the weekend. The concerts start at 6:45 p.m. tonight and Saturday. The weekend’s concerts feature not only Notre Dame but also groups from Michigan State, Western Michigan, Indiana, Marshall and Texas State. All events are free and open to the public.”Each group will perform its very best music,” said Larry Dwyer, the director of jazz bands at Notre Dame. “Most of the groups will include a variety of jazz styles in their programs, to demonstrate to the judges their mastery of both old and new music, and to give the audience an interesting sample of the best of both old and new music, with different tempos and easy-to-listen-to music alternating with challenging pieces.”By its nature, jazz includes a lot of improvisation, and each group will feature its best improvising soloists.”Lauren Fowler, who, along with Greg Salazar, directs the festival, also notes the importance of holding the event without charge. “Thus there’s no reason to see one of the best musical shows on campus this year,” Fowler said.Besides great music, the Collegiate Jazz Festival will be judged by a world-class group of musicians, including saxophonist Jeff Clayton, trumpeter Jon Faddis, pianist Alan Pasqua, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Peter Erskine. The judges will give awards to individual soloists for their outstanding merit over the weekend. It is also not uncommon for these soloists to go on and have outstanding careers in music, sometimes based upon the recommendations of the judges.Mr. Dwyer remarks how the judges jam tonight is truly a sight to behold. [“It’s] always a spectacular moment at CJF,” he said. “These internationally acclaimed musicians get on stage, with no rehearsal, and jam for about 45 minutes. The result is always incredible.”Students attending the festival should expect a wide variety of style in jazz as well, ranging from more traditional, big band-type arrangements, to the avant-garde works, to the heavily Latin-influenced beats produced by Salsa del Rio, one of the two groups representing Texas State. Regardless of whatever showcase students may choose to attend, the event should already prove a winner due to its exclusivity in the music world at Notre Dame. We all know how much fun it is to sing along with the glee club, and we’ve all experienced the rush of the marching band.But jazz – what an opportunity to learn something new.The concerts tonight and Saturday night will be held in Washington Hall.