Browse Songs by Jazz Artists

The concert I attended and going to review was one of the Fall Concerts at State Fair Community College, in the Stauffacher Theater on October 20th, 2018. At this specific event the Jazz Choir, Chamber Choir, and the Jazz Runners performed. Throughout the concert, there were several soloists from the choirs and Jazz Runners and most of the music performed was modern music from the 20th or 21st century. The concert began with the Jazz Choir singing “Feeling Good,” composer Leslie Bricusse and arranged by Alan Billingsley.

The jazz song started out quiet with a slow rhythm but quickly speeds up and become forte after the line, “And I’m feeling good.” This shift in dynamics made the song very entertaining to listen too, and the lyrics were able to create a picture especially the lyrics before, “you know how I feel.” The dynamics continue to change throughout the song from fast to slow or loud to soft.

Later in the song it changes pitches creating further interest and then the men (tenor and bass) began to imitate the women (alto and soprano) on the line, “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life.

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” Finally, the song ended with the men and women in harmony, on the same lyrics, making a good cadence for the song. The next song sung by the Jazz Choir was, “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” composer Frank Loesser and arranged by Paris Rutherford. This song had a lot of syncopation and dissonance, this does not mean the song sounded bad, but these two aspects of the song made it sound unique and appealing.

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Syncopation is an accent (emphasis on a note) that is displaced where it is not normally expected, and dissonance is a group of sounds that seem disagreeable. The syncopation and dissonance give the song more depth, especially the dissonance, it causes dislike but resolving the dissonance creates interest and is appealing to hear.

The song also had a lot of harmonies, which is the several pitches sounded simultaneously. This song also had a soloist, Enrique Flores, this solo was him performing scat, which described during the performance, was the human voice used to imitate the sound of an instrument. During his performance, you can hear how an instrument would fit the scat. After his solo, the song started to come to an end and similar to the previous song ended with all parts singing the same lyrics and in harmony. The Jazz Choir continued to perform a few more pieces but I would like to proceed to the next group to perform, the Jazz Runners. The Jazz Runners are a jazz band and their second piece was, “Watermelon Man,” composer Herbie Handcock and arranged by Bob Lowden. This piece had a theme or a central melody that was repeated several times but still had variation. The theme was very energetic and ‘happy’ sounding. There was also a very uplifting beat that was provided by the drums and the bass guitar played on the piano. In the piece there was also a soloist, Brandon Dobson, he was playing the dumbs, a percussion instrument, and these specific dumbs were unpitched. During this solo, the rest of the band would jump in and this interaction seemed like call and response commonly found in sacred music.

Finally, I would like to skip to the Chamber Choir who performed “Dies Irae,” composer Ryan Main. This sacred or religious song, Dies Irae, or the Day of Wrath was originally for the mass of the dead from the Medieval period but is often found in movies or incorporated into music to insinuate death. This song was sung in a minor cord, giving it a creepy, uneasy feel. On top of that, the dynamics were intense with quick bursts of loud to sudden quietness. I am sure this was hard to sing because or the dynamics of the song and having to sing in Latin. The song is sung in Latin because, in the medieval period, Latin was used in church services. The Fall Concert at State Fair Community College was great to attend, and I would like to attend more concerts. The Jazz Choir, Jazz Runner, and Chamber Choir, all performed wonderful songs and pieces all with their own unique sound or timbre. Every piece of music had a story to tell that is why the music performed would be considered program music. I hope to go to more concerts and gain more knowledge about the music I hear around me.

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Browse Songs by Jazz Artists. (2022, Jan 10). Retrieved from

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