Associate professor of music and director of the University of South Dakota jazz ensembles Christopher Kocher decided to try something different for the jazz ensemble winter concert.
The USD jazz ensemble will play “Everything in its Right Place,” originally performed by the band Radiohead, for its winter concert. The song has been arranged to be played by a jazz group.
The free concert will be in Colton Recital Hall on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Kocher said each band has approximately 18 members and has been practicing since the beginning of the semester.
“It’s really exciting, upbeat music,” Kocher said. “Jazz is the great American art form.”
Kocher said he began choosing music for the concert during the summer.
“At the beginning of the semester, as I’m getting to know the students and selecting music that will fit them, I try to select a variety of music,” Kocher said. “Then it’s just a matter of getting people to play their parts.”
Jazz is one of the hardest genres to play, sophomore string bass player Kelley Gilson said.
“If you can play jazz, you can play anything,” Gilson said. “When I first played jazz it just stuck with me. It’s a way to express yourself.”
Senior trombone player Jimmy Bloomquist said the concert showcases a wide range of what the jazz ensemble can do in a big band style of music.
“We play everything from very classical Count Basie Big Band pieces to an arrangement of the Radiohead tune,” Bloomquist said. “It showcases how much you can do with contemporary music in the big band style.”
Gilson said there will be a lot of mixed genres within the concert.
“We do a lot of call and response between the
different instruments,” Gilson said. “It’s a big mix of a lot of things. It’ll be good for the audience because they can get a taste of everything.”
Kocher said that if people don’t know a lot about jazz this will be a great concert to come to and experience.
“We’ve got two really good bands. People can enjoy a wide variety of music,” Kocher said. “It will be a way to open their eyes to jazz. People may have a narrow idea of what a jazz concert might be and this would expand that.”
Nothing quite matches jazz in a live experience, Bloomquist said.
“What’s so wonderful about the improvisation sections in jazz is that every time you hear a tune it’s going to be different,” Bloomquist said. “To come and experience it live versus hearing it on a recording really makes the whole jazz experience come to life a little bit more.”
Reach reporter Emily Niebrugge at Emily.K.Niebrugge@usd.edu.