By Cassie Lowery, ´13
Bright trumpet melodies and booming bass accents greet the ears of visitors attending Capital University’s Annual Jazz and World Music Festival. This year, the festival celebrates its 35th anniversary with a month full of jazz-inspired and performances.
The festival kicks off April 3 with a performance from the Capital University Big Band and will continue through April 28. This event is one of many going on in Columbus this spring that offers entertainment for students searching for something to do.
Every year, Capital hosts the Jazz Ensemble Invitational as a part of the festival. This year is no exception; the invitational will be held April 8, and will include performances from ensembles around the city. High school groups, as well as professional guests, will participate. Various workshops and clinics are also offered during the day for different jazz instruments.
As in previous years, the Upper Arlington Jazz Ensemble will perform a few of the pieces it has been preparing. Kelsey Kaiser, a former member of the Upper Arlington Jazz Ensemble and a current freshman at Capital University, remembers performing at the festival.
“I enjoyed performing [at the festival] because of the constructive criticism we got from the professionals afterwards,” she said.
Kaiser also enjoyed watching the other ensembles as well as the professionals and looks forward to attending the event this year. She said that going to a jazz festival is something different from going to the movies or attending a concert.
Junior Nate Smallwood, who performs with the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra and the UA Jazz Ensemble, explained that he thinks the festival is a great way for people to get a taste of what jazz is all about.
“The creative freedom of jazz allows for some truly amazing music to be made, and the rhythms don’t hurt either,” Smallwood said. “It’s a refreshing change from most of the popular music you hear on the radio.”
Capital’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble and its Jazz Percussion Ensemble have a number of performances, including one April 9. Afterwards, bass-player Kamil Erdem from Istanbul, Turkey will perform, along with Tom “Bones” Malone on trombone. Malone, who lives in New York, has appeared on the David Lettermen Show. The festival will close with a show by Capital’s conFUSION BAND on April 28.
The 35th anniversary of this festival promises to be a fun spring activity. With many professional jazz musicians, ranging from trumpet to percussion, as well as an appearance from the Air Force Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, shortage of talent will not be an issue. Admission for most performances is free, so consider this when searching for a cure for spring fever. •