Raised in a home where melodies are often played in the instruments we have or even just hummed by a family member while doing chores, I have grown to love pieces of music especially opera, orchestra and the classics. So when my friends, who are musicians themselves, invited me to one of the performances of a jazz band during the celebration of the University’s anniversary last July 9 at The Technopark, I was feeling rather apprehensive. It is not as what you would expect my genre of choice. I have always typified this particular field as an African-American influenced rhythmic and instrumental form of music.
My ears were almost involuntarily programmed to have an distaste to these tunes. But since they started to play, I forgot my earlier impression because I was already enjoying the concert. Savoring the pleasure of listening to the upbeat of jazz music, I was jazzed up and entirely enthralled with the soulful performance of the Jazz Ensemble. In the hands of trumpeter Roy Barja, trombonist Marko Geron, bassist Jeff Flores and saxophonist Brad Cruz, the contrivances took on a unique character, and one whose ebullience can hardly be contained.
The ensemble started with a bang of Jazz Story playing different types of jazz music that evolved within the through time until the modern jazz of today. Then, the members of Jazz Ensemble played classics like Victor Young’s “When I Fall in Love”, George Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Pink Panther”. With the variety of instruments involved, lush harmonies and textures satiated my ears’ desire for excellent sounds. Each artist had a chance for a nippy glare of publicity. He would play short melodic fragments meant to be repeated by a section of the band with growing passion.
They masterfully serenaded and entertained the audience through vocalist Mara Duran who did vocals on “Orange-colored Sky” and “It had to be You”. The group kept the crowd swaying and crooning on our seats in time with the beat. Jazz took my heart out from the first notes that had drifted from the instruments up until the faintest tune that was whispered by the wind. That night, I closed my eyes with a trace of smile upon my lips as I hum a segment from the song Love is Here to Stay.