The Voice

Jazz ensemble heads to Europe

Rachel Wright, Staff Writer

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     Smooth to swing, utilizing syncopation and improvisation, the BU Jazz Ensemble does it all. The band which has been around for decades is starting preparations for the Summer 2018 tour and director Stephen Clickard is looking for some new talent.

     The 2018 tour will take the ensemble through Europe where they will experience an authentic touring musician lifestyle. “They will be performing in multiple venues throughout Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic,” said Clickard. “They will experience what it is like to move from place to place and perform very quickly after arriving, what it is like to be professional in every sense of the term and make sure each concert is fresh and exciting for every performance venue.”

     They will also be visiting a number of historic music sites in all of the host countries. “This tour is a great chance to experience a cultural musical exchange with musicians in our performance areas. Although these areas have a very rich musical heritage, jazz, especially in the Czech Republic, is not often heard,” said Clickard. “So as our students visit the home of Mozart and Dvorak, they can be ambassadors for America’s musical Heritage, jazz.”

     The last trip that the jazz group went on was in 2016 when they did a tour of Switzerland and Italy. There they performed at the Montreux and Umbria Jazz Festivals. “[That] tour was a great success. The band performed for thousands of people and were very well received,” said Clickard. One of the students in the ensemble at the time was BU student Alison Spencer. “At each spot we took a tour of the town, and even one castle. We went to the Vatican City and I saw “The Creation of Adam” in the Sistine Chapel.  It seemed like a dream. I learned a lot of history of the towns and of the different churches we went into,” she said. “We had several opportunities to explore our surrounding to experience the nightlife. My favorite two was swimming in lake Léman and our last dinner in Rome.”

     The BU Jazz Ensemble is open to all students, music major or not. “Usually students have had experience in their high school band or jazz band. They should be adapt at reading music as well,” said Clickard.To join, interested students must go through a pretty standard audition where they will “do a little playing and sight reading” according to Clickard.These auditions will happen in the first week of classes. They will attend the first rehearsal and get a feel for the music that will be played throughout the semester then go to Clickard’s office before the next rehearsal and play through that same music. “If they want to be a soloist, they would also perform a jazz improve solo,” said Clickard.

 

     The music group is a one credit course that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.The BU Jazz Ensemble has been around for decades. “It was known as the Studio Ensemble until I was hired in 1998. I promptly changed the name of the BU Jazz Ensemble to reflect the change in focus from big band swing music to a more jazz influenced one,” said Clickard.Since then, the group has performed with a number of great musicians including Dave Liebman, The New York Voices, Hilton Ruiz, Dave Valentin and T.S. Monk and at places like the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Montreuz Jazz Festival and the Tuscia Jazz Festival.

 

     Any student interested in joining the jazz group is encouraged to contact Clickard right away.He said, “It is great fun wonderful music and a chance to tour like a professional musician.”The BU Jazz Ensemble is open to all students, music major or not. “Usually students have had experience in their high school band or jazz band. They should be adapt at reading music as well,” said Clickard.To join, interested students must go through a pretty standard audition where they will “do a little playing and sight reading” according to Clickard.These auditions will happen in the first week of classes.

 

     They will attend the first rehearsal and get a feel for the music that will be played throughout the semester then go to Clickard’s office before the next rehearsal and play through that same music. “If they want to be a soloist, they would also perform a jazz improve solo,” said Clickard.The music group is a one credit course that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

 

     The BU Jazz Ensemble has been around for decades. “It was known as the Studio Ensemble until I was hired in 1998. I promptly changed the name of the BU Jazz Ensemble to reflect the change in focus from big band swing music to a more jazz influenced one,” said Clickard.Since then, the group has performed with a number of great musicians including Dave Liebman, The New York Voices, Hilton Ruiz, Dave Valentin and T.S. Monk and at places like the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Montreuz Jazz Festival and the Tuscia Jazz Festival.Any student interested in joining the jazz group is encouraged to contact Clickard right away. He said, “It is great fun wonderful music and a chance to tour like a professional musician.”

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Jazz ensemble heads to Europe