Newton South Winterfest Jazz Concert Is Supreme Success

Photo by Julie Samuels

By Elana Volfinzon

Arts Reporter

This past Thursday, South students, along with their families and friends, came together to watch the second part of the winter concert series. Although this concert is held annually, this year a remarkably successful precedent was set. For the first time, both the improve and combo jazz groups came together on one stage to put on an exhilarating show and showcase some incredible talent.

Lasting approximately two and a half hours, the show was primarily filled with student-composed pieces, as this was the students’ term-long assignment for the course. Improv jazz groups warmed the crowd and set the tone with later performances by Jazz Combo, one of South’s most prestigious jazz groups. Throughout the night, students had solos within the pieces to showcase the immense work they have put in this term.

Though stellar music was being played and smooth transitions were being made, putting on such an amazing show was not an easy task. Such a performance required a lot of dedication and preparation time. The concert was made possible by Lisa Linde, the director and coordinator of Newton South’s jazz and symphonic ensembles.

The first piece of the night, played by the Lab Jazz Ensemble, was called “Isfahan.” This famous piece was composed by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhdorn and featured Newton South’s Ben Jackson on the alto sax. Jackson took an immense amount of time to perfect the specific style and manner with which Ellington was known to play.

Towards the end of the night, Caleb Fried also embodied Ellington’s style on the trumpet during “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo”. Throughout the night, all the students had the chance to showcase their talent through brief solos.

The night ended with a showstopper from Jazz Ensemble. Keeping up the fast momentum and high energy of the night, Jazz Ensemble performed four songs that left the crowd in absolute astonishment and awe.

Overall, combining the different variations of jazz music resulted in a huge success. Newton South performers enjoyed themselves on stage while being able to share their breathtaking passion for music with their audience.