Jazz singers rock the campus

Liz Tubman

On Feb. 21 the LU Jazz Singers livened up a typically humdrum Monday evening with their annual winter concert. Their program consisted of twelve pieces, including ensemble pieces and solo performances. The amazingly talented soloists performed a number of great pieces. Emily Fink added new bossa nova flair to her performance of Ellington’s “Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me,” and Gabrielle Smith brought the house down with her smooth and soulful rendition of Warren and Gordon’s romantic hit, “At Last.” The concert also featured the gifted voices of Megan Allen – accompanied by Gabriel Davila on guitar – singing in Portuguese, Jobim’s “How Insensitive,” Megan Hamm singing “Save Your Love for Me” by Buddy Johnson, and Charlie Christenson singing Lionel Hampton’s “Midnight Sun.”
The ensemble pieces were equally well-performed. They started with “Dare the Moon,” an exciting and upbeat piece arranged by Darmon Meader, with help from Jacob Teichroew on saxophone and soloists Jesse Weinberg and Christina Martinez. “En Somnar,” a moving a capella piece translated by Steve Widenhofer, featured solos sung by Mariel Clemente and Callie Nelson. “Bowing to Bud,” which was arranged by director Chris Salerno for Eliane Elias’s performance earlier this fall, featured the singing of Charlie Christenson.
The men and women of the Jazz Singers tried to show each other up with their own respective pieces. The women sang the fast and fun “One Note Samba” arranged by Gregory Toroian with soloist Gabrielle Smith, and the men sang “Summertime” with soloists Spencer Dorn and Jesse Weinberg, which was arranged and transcribed by their very own Charlie Christenson. Another fun piece was the romantic and upbeat “What A Little Moonlight Can Do,” arranged by Jennifer Scovell, with soloists Emily Fink and Drew Thomas. The concert ended with a great piece called “Nothing You Can Do” by Average White Band and arranged by Chris Salerno that featured Jacob Teichroew on saxophone and Megan Hamm on vocals. This one definitely left you humming the tune for the next few days!
The Jazz Singers are directed by Chris Salerno, who said that “this is an exciting ensemble to work with, they are all soloists as well as ensemble singers” – a fact that was very evident throughout the concert. The LU Jazz Singers are the recipients of the 2002 Down Beat Outstanding College Vocal Jazz Ensemble Award, and they will also be performing with the concert choir at the upcoming Three Lakes Performing Arts Series on March 4.