Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sixty-six kids on a roof

Last Friday night, the Handsome Husband and I hied ourselves over to Skidmore College for the first of their free summer concerts on the roof of the Tang Museum.

 This first concert featured sixty-six musicians, all high school students who were participating in the Skidmore Jazz Institute.
 Lest you be thinking dismissively about the likely quality of this concert - don't.

 These kids were awesome. All that energy and enthusiasm made for a lively evening of music, with a wide variety of jazz selections from varying decades and styles.
 When they first announced that all sixty-six students would be playing, my heart sank. I thought, we are going to be here all night!

 But that turned out NOT to be my complaint (since I have to have one.)

 Varying groups (ensembles? combos?) each played only one selection, and their organizers got them on and off stage with alacrity. Too much so, in my opinion. It would have taken only a minute to mention each student's name and quickly tell where they were from. As a retired teacher, I wanted to know which high schools were producing such talented musicians. Somewhere out there, there are a bunch of unsung jazz band directors who should be very proud of these young men and women.
Now TONIGHT, July 9, you can go to a different Skidmore venue, the Zankel Music Center, and pay to see the Skidmore Jazz Institute Faculty Septet at 8 pm. They will be featuring Sean Jones (trumpet), Jimmy Greene (tenor saxophone), James Burton III (trombone), Bill Cunliffe (piano), Paul Bollenback (guitar), Doug Weiss (bass), and Dennis Mackrel (drums). Admission is: $8 adults, $5 seniors/Skidmore community, free for students and children. Check out the Skidmore website for tickets here. 

But if you want totally free music, you still have another shot at hearing these sixty-six high school jazzists on Friday, July 10, at 1:00 PM, also at the Zankell Center. They were really good last week. Imagine how much better they will be this Friday, after an additional seven days of intensive work with the Jazz Institute faculty. 

You can find more info about the free UpBeat on the Roof concert series at the Tang site. 

Check out what other artsy/academic events at Skidmore are open to the public this summer at the main Skidmore site. Their campus is a lovely, lively place to visit.