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Jazz Ensemble Explores Swing and Latin Styles

The USD Jazz ensembles held a concert Wednesday, Nov. 1 in the Colton Recital Hall. The ensembles played different styles of jazz, ranging from the swing era of the 40’s to Latin jazz.  

The ensemble consists of two bands with saxophones, trumpets, trombones and a rhythm section. The latter is composed of the piano, guitar, bass and drums. There are two ensembles, and each ensemble has their own director.  

The repertoire of the ensembles contains different styles of jazz.  

Christopher Kocher, the director of the jazz ensemble one, said the music will be a bit of a mix of everything.  

“We play pieces from the swing era, which was in the 40s,” Kocher said. “But we also play Latin jazz and contemporary. It will be a mix of everything.”  

Even though Kocher said everything will be a mixture of everything. There are some difficult pieces to perform, one of them being a song by Radiohead.  

“The most difficult piece might be “Idioteque” by Radiohead. The arrangements are made by Patty Darling. It’s more different than the other music we will be playing, and the difficulty is in its rhythm. It’s challenging,” Kocher said.  

One of the musical pieces that Kocher looks most forward to during the concert was “That Shy Girl” by Roger Neumann. 

“It reminds me very much of a dear friend who passed away a while ago. The music sounds like him, so whenever I hear it, I’m reminded of him,” Kocher said.  

Other songs the ensemble will play are “A Blues Grows in Brooklyn” by Jeff Beal, “A Cool Breeze” by Sammy Nestico and “Samba Kinda Mambo” by Michael Philip Mossman.  

The next time the Jazz ensemble will take the stage is on Dec. 3 for their USD Holiday Concert. They will be accompanied by the choir.  

In February, they travel to New Orleans with the marching band.