Somi, a jazz musician who was born and raised right here in Champaign, IL, set out to change the definition of what jazz and African music entailed, frequently combining the two.
Written by Willa Wu
Somi performed her music in the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on February 14, 2020. The singer and her group of talented musicians, who have won countless awards, delivered an awe inspiring performance, where each individual in the band had their own time to shine.
On December 7, the UI Latin Jazz Ensemble performed on Studio Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The performance works with South American, Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, and traditional jazz influences.
The Jim Pryor Trio performed a series of Jazz music on Stage 5 during Krannert Uncorked on November 21.
By Wai Chuen Chan
On November 21, the Jim Pryor Trio performed a series of vibrant Jazz stylings of music on Stage 5 in Krannert Center for the Performing of Arts. Jim Pryor who is a piano specialist, joined by his fellow musicians with the instruments of violone and drums.
For me, jazz was a very abstract concept because I had only heard some blues music but never seen any jazz performances, nor had I had the opportunity to learn more about jazz. As a result, I was greatly curious about the performance when I attended KCPA.
Jazz was developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. Jazz was partially from blues, which is a music genre and used to be called Jass. Personally, saxophone would be prominent in Jazz, in which it is a principal vehicle for melodic improvisation. The reason is that saxophone has a great flexibility, blending well with both brasses and woodwinds. Also, it can use in Jazz Band brought changes in mouthpiece design to produce a brighter, more penetrating sound. UI Jazz band from the Big Band era illustrated the benefit of using saxophone as a prominent instrument on November 10th.
The UI Repertory Jazz Orchestra is a music show organized and performed by the University of Illinois students and sponsors. All the music that was performed and sung were from the Big Band Era, jazz golden age from 1910-1940.
When was the last time you listened to a jazz song? Exactly… I was skeptical about going into the show but in the back of my head, I was thinking it would be like a musical and I would walk out with a story. In this blog, I would like to share my experience with my very first jazz show and Krannert Center. I had no issue with parking so I parked my car on the street walked in. There were multiple shows starting at 7:30 so it was hectic babies crying and toddlers running around which made me think that the show cant that bad if people from all age groups are going to watch it. But, when I got to the theater that had the jazz show I realized that there was no line and it was exceptionally quiet. So I walked up and showed the attended my e-ticket and walked in.
The audience was filled with seniors and the stage was level with the ground.
Upon entering the theater, I was greeted with a bunch of old people and a couple of students in there mid 20’s. I walked in and just sat in the back and exactly at 7:30 the host greeted us and introduced us to what songs he would play.
So the show started with a couple of songs with no vocals which I personally didn’t like it because the beat was outdated and then transitioned to happy songs. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the names of the songs because it was the first time listening to jazz songs from the 1940s. An hour into the show I was regretting coming to this show because that is not the type of music I listen to. But, when they started playing “sad songs” it got so emotional. It was so clear what the lyrics meant and it made me realize how most of the songs today just promote drugs, sex, and money. I was just sitting there and got this feeling you get when u realize you are missing out on something so pure that makes you question why people stopped listening to jazz. My favorite song that I listened to after the show was “Over the rainbow”. If you never been to a jazz show then I strongly recommend giving it a try.
Jazz was developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. Jazz was partially from blues, which is a music genre and used to be called Jass. Modern Jazz player, Wynton Marsalis, and his remarkable ensemble are one of the top Jazz band.
On November 1st at Krannert Center for Performing Arts, the Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble performed in Foellinger Great Hall and it was amazing. Wynton Marsalis has led this ensemble for over three decades. playing an amazing blend of masterworks by Ellington, Basie, Monk, Mingus, Goodman, and more with original compositions, Lincoln Center-commissioned works, and rare historic pieces. Marsalis ensemble is made of more than 15 of the jazz world’s finest soloists and ensemble players. And they are truly remarkable