|Azusa Kurosawa of Japan|
Azusa is an exchange student from Sophia University, a Jesuit university in Japan, where she is majoring in Cultural Psychology. This semester, as an exchange student at Loyola University New Orleans, Azusa is in the Pilot Program of the Loyola Intensive English Program (LIEP), where she takes two credit-bearing courses in English skills as well as two courses in other fields at Loyola.
Azusa's love for jazz is evident in her review, below.
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The Loyola Jazz Band Concert
By Azusa Kurosawa
Since coming to New Orleans, I have been inspired by the wonderful music culture, especially Jazz. I had never been familiar with jazz in Japan, but here, a variety of music sounds come into my ears once I go outside, which always excites me.
On Tuesday evening, November 11, the Loyola Jazz Band Concert was held at Roussel Hall of Loyola University New Orleans, and I attended it to see their performance. In the concert, the Loyola Jazz Band played 12 tunes, and each tune had its own characteristics: some were energetic with high tempo, some were peaceful ballad tastes, and some included a vocalist. Although the instruments were different from piece to piece, most tunes consisted of the piano, the bass, the drum, the trumpet, the saxophone and the trombone. All members of the Loyola Jazz Band played their own instruments confidently, and I received their strong passion that they really loved jazz.
My favorite tunes of the set were You Know I Care and Mr. Mayor. You Know I Care, composed by Duke Pearson, was slow, relaxing and also harmonic. This tune contained many saxophone solo parts, most of which were performed by one soloist, whose performance appeared to deserve a high quality. He never missed notes, his scaling was smooth, and his sound was deep and firm as well. The audience seemed to be attracted by the resonance and the lingering sound that the soloist created.
Unlike You Know I Care, Mr. Mayor by Matt Harris was a spirited and lively tune. In the very beginning of the piece, only a few instruments, including the drum, bass, and piano, were played. But shortly after, other instruments joined and the tune became energetic, the trumpeters gradually began to make their trumpets snarl, and a pianist began to perform the scale very fast. I would like to go into dancing, and this tune must have made other listeners excited as well.
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, and historically, it was the ideal site for the birth of jazz because of its ethnic diversity. Many kinds of music, such as African American music, European music, and church music, were blended and formed the style of jazz that we can enjoy today. I feel very impressed when I imagine that many diverse historical people’s souls and passions are packed into today’s jazz music.
Thanks to the Loyola Jazz Band, the audience, including myself, spent a special evening. Loyola's College of Music and Fine Arts offers many opportunities for students, and of course all citizens, to listen to jazz as well as concert band, ensembles, and chorus. I strongly recommend that you join the concerts and listen to these amazing musical sounds!
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Thank you, Azusa Kurosawa of Japan, for sharing your love of jazz and this Loyola Jazz Band Concert review with us!