WILLIAMSTOWN -- Jazz at Williams presents a number of upcoming performances featuring small groups.
The Jazz Vocal Ensemble and The Vocal Jazz Studio Recital perform on Saturday, May 4 at 4 p.m.; Williams Jazz Sextet performs on May 5, at noon; Small Jazz Ensembles perform Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m; Jazz Guitar Studio Recital takes place on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
All of these performances take place in the Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus, and are free and open to the public.
These four jazz performances cap a semester of music making and showcase how Williams plays jazz. Small ensembles are jazz forms in and of themselves, and they are ideal for bringing together musicians of many levels in a happy coexistence. The accomplished improviser can polish skills and push on into uncharted territory. The neophyte gets the hang of things and waits for the moment to step out in front. Sink or swim, playing in a small jazz group is a thrilling challenge that cannot be matched. Jazz at Williams offers many different ways to experience jazz.
Featuring solo and group performances by young jazz vocalists, the Williams Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by Laura Pierce performs arrangements in the style of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and the New York Voices, as well as innovative arrangements of their own. Spontaneously
The Williams Jazz Sextet is an exceptional group of young Williams musicians. The group does some of its own composing and arranging and always has a refreshing take on the standards. The Williams Jazz Sextet consists of Jonathan Dely ‘15, trumpet; Andrew Quinn ‘13, tenor saxophone; Daniel Schwartz ‘13, guitar; Gregory Ferland ‘16, bass; Brian Levine ‘16, drums; Abe Sanchez piano. Coach and mentor of this group is Avery Sharpe, who is an artist associate in Jazz Bass, and Jazz Coach at Williams College. Sharpe is a renowned bass player who has performed with such jazz legends as McCoy Tyner, Archie Shepp, and Art Blakey.
The Small Jazz Ensembles concert presents a jazz combo featuring compositions and arrangements written by the students for their course in jazz arranging and composition, but not excluding the standards that underpin the style. One of these groups is led by by Andy Jaffe, director of jazz activities at Williams. Musicians from The Williams Jazz Sextet also make an appearance.
Jazz guitarists get a date all their own with Artist Associate Robert Phelps, who accompanies his students with choice blues and standard tunes. Phelps is a performer, author, and long time teacher of guitar at Williams.
If you go:
What: Jazz Vocal Ensamble
When: Saturday, May 4 at 4 p.m.
What: Jazz Sextet
When: Sunday, May 5 at noon.
What: Small Jazz Ensambles
When: Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m.
What: Jazz Guitar Studio Recital
When: Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
Where: Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 54 Chapin Hall Dr., Bernhard Music Center.