After exploring the realm of international music in the fall and playing strictly world beats, Lavender Jazz will return to their roots of traditional swing jazz on Saturday for a final concert of the year.
The concert is titled “Into Action,” a subtle reminder for the audience to put theirs goals into action during the performance, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Sauder Concert Hall. Pieces from composers such as Glenn Miller and Paul Desmond will be featured.
Sonny Carreño, director of the band, hopes the music will make the audience dance in their seats.
“I want people to talk about us when its over and to generate interest,” Carreño said. “I want to create a brand for [Lavendar Jazz], with loyalty, a look and sound that people look forward to experiencing.”
The concert will also feature the three seniors of the band, as it will be their last show with Lavender Jazz. The seniors are Rafael Chavez, guitar; Nathan Grieser, alto saxophone; and Dan Vader, trumpet.
Carreño was Chavez’s first period teacher in eighth grade, and the two hit it off when they discovered they were both fans of the Beatles. When Carreño was unable to find a jazz guitarist on campus six years ago, he asked Chavez to join the band.
“He could play at 14, and he can play at 21,” said Carreño. “He was born to play guitar and has an incredible set of ears.”
For Chavez, being a part of Lavender Jazz has been a learning experience.
“The most important thing I learned is that team work, as well as commitment, are essential for an ensemble to succeed,” Chavez said.
According to Carreño, Grieser, a four year member of the group, has developed the most of any musician.
“Although he doesn’t always say a lot, his playing speaks volumes,” said Carreño.
Grieser especially has a knack for improvisation.
Grieser said, “When you have the tools to create music on the spot, like many of the players in Lavender Jazz will do at the concert during solos, you are able to personalize whatever you are playing, giving it a sound that is distinctively your own.”
When Vader joined during the second semester of his first year at Goshen College, he had almost no experience playing jazz.
“I listened to some Wynton Marsalis, Coltrane and Arturo Sandoval, but I had never played it before,” said Vader. “Lavender Jazz gave me the opportunity to learn an entirely new genre of music.”
Vader’s overall positive attitude stood out the most to Carreño.
“Dan is the guy that every organization needs,” said Carreño. “He will do all the dirty work and is usually the first one at rehearsals and the last to leave.”
A short slideshow and video will be presented at the concert to pay tribute to each senior.
“It will be bittersweet,” said Carreño. “It’s a time to celebrate, but it will be hard to say goodbye.”
Tickets will be available at the door, one hour before the concert. The concert is free for Goshen College students with I.D., $7 for adults and $5 for seniors/students.