Jazz Band to hold third annual Night of Blues tonight

Emma Peters

On one night of the year, the sounds of vibrant saxophones, brassy trumpets and velvety piano resound at the music department’s annual Night of Blues—an evening of music and dancing hosted by the music department’s Jazz Band.

For the past two years, the event has been held at the Hillside Church. This year, however, such sounds will resonate the walls of the CEA and will include a wider range of musical genres.

SEVEN MEMBERS of the Jazz Band practice for their Night of Blues performance that will be held tonight in the cafeteria.  The band will perform compositions by Huey Lewis and Stevie Wonder, among others.
SEVEN MEMBERS of the Jazz Band practice for their Night of Blues performance that will be held tonight in the cafeteria. The band will perform compositions by Huey Lewis and Stevie Wonder, among others.

This year’s Night of Blues switched locations largely due to the logistics of setting up the equipment and organizing the event. Nonetheless, the Jazz Band has worked for months to evoke the same lively feeling of the event as previous Nights of Blues, according to student director and senior, Alex Ehrenberg.

“We want to focus on having a really fun night for the entire student body.” Ehrenberg said. “It will be a nice formal event.”

Ehrenberg said that the money earned from the event will go to the department’s scholarship fund and student accounts to pay for events like field trips to the symphony.

Junior Kate Anderson, a member of the decorating committee, said the department is going for a nightclub vibe for the event’s ambiance. There will be a larger area for dancing and a smaller area for sitting than the previous Night of Blues at the Hillside Church.

“We are going to keep it simple with twinkling Christmas lights, drapes and black butcher paper to cover up the walls,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be very classy.”

The kitchen will most likely become a lounge for food and refreshments, while the back wall of the CEA will be used as the stage for the musicians.

Another difference from the previous year’s Night of Blues is the set list. The event will feature performances from nearly 36 musicians and singers in Jazz Band and Performance Workshop.

The set list will cover a variety of genres as opposed to just jazz, including old swing tunes, modern funk, and rock. Ehrenberg and student director Gideon Elson designed the set list for more dancing than previous years.

“We have organized sets starting in 1940s era, like swing, and we are working all the way to modern pop,” Ehrenberg said. “We are even doing a rendition of a Britney Spears song.”

Unlike the music department’s concerts throughout the year, student musicians organize the Night of Blues, according to music teacher John Mattern.

“The main difference is that it is student-run and it’s mainly geared towards bringing lots of students in and creating a dance-like atmosphere instead of a concert atmosphere,” Mattern said.