On the evening of Friday, April 6, the current members of Lavender Jazz will take the Sauder Concert Hall stage.
This performance features the four senior members of the band: Sarah Shoue, Isaac Godshalk, Reid Wegrecki and Julian Harnish. Each senior will perform a personally selected piece with the rest of the Lavender Jazz ensemble.
Shoue will be performing a jazz standard entitled “Footprints,” composed by Wayne Shorter. Considering
the laid-back vibe that emanates from each note, “it’s my
favorite ‘rainy day’ or late evening kind of jazz,” said Shoue.
Even though the song may
sound relaxing to the listener,
the same feeling may not
extend to the musicians performing it.
“‘Footprints’ has been a challenging piece to work on,” Shoue said. “I very much
look forward to performing it.”
On trombone, Godshalk will be performing an instrumental rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s jazz classic, “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.”
Godshalk is looking forward to playing this song in the upcoming concert.
“Because we have very few mics, I’ll really be able to flow with music and just play,” said Godshalk.
The Latin Jazz standard, “Spain” by Chick Corea, will be performed by Harnish.
“This piece is challenging,” said Harnish. “It uses complex Latin Jazz rhythms and flips seamlessly through unique musical ideas.”
In particular, Harnish enjoys
a section of the song that
audiences are typically encouraged to clap along to.
“Typically, bands play it with minimal instrumentation, maybe with just piano and vibes,” said Harnish. “Yet it works so well with the fuller band sound
that came before it.”
The piece is one that Harnish considers to be a favorite, and
he is encouraged by the
motivation seen in his fellow performers.
One of the more unique solo selections to be performed this coming Friday originates from the mind of Wegrecki herself.
Wegrecki is excited to play “Bourbon St. Parade,” a piece that she composed.
The song is inspired by the parades of musicians that are famously known to march down the
historic Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, a historical hot-bed for jazz music.
Regarding the concert as a whole, the four seniors are
feeling optimistic in the days leading up to their collective performances. This is partially due to Greg Smucker, the guest director, and his changes in how the ensemble operates
on a technical level.
“It’s different than how we’ve operated before,” said Wegrecki.
“Working with directors is always a great experience because you learn [that] new ways of approaching is essentially the same thing.”
The concert will feature a shorter set list compared to past performances.
“We scaled back so that we can make sure everything sounds precise,” said Wegrecki.
Aside from the seniors’ selections, the Lavender Jazz ensemble will play a piece entitled “Scrapple,” written by Charlie Parker.
“Scrapple” is one of the only songs the ensemble will
perform outside of the senior solos.
“Lavender Jazz is focused on having and creating a fun,
genuine and laid-back
atmosphere for our listeners,” said Wegrecki.
“I think the concert
on Friday will reflect that. These songs are really iconic songs and fit with our theme of
playing classic jazz tunes.”
The Lavender Jazz performance is scheduled to
start at 7:30 at Sauder Concert Hall. It is free and open to the public.