Fine Arts News

Tokyo College of Music Jazz Concert Collaboration

Tokyo College of Music Jazz Concert Collaboration

Before the Spring vacation, Saint Maur was delighted to once again host a joint Jazz Big Band Concert with Tokyo College of Music. This is the third time that the jazz ensembles have collaborated and once again students learnt a great deal from this inspiring experience.

After school on Thursday 21st March rehearsals began with the Middle School, High School and College groups. They rehearsed joint pieces which they would later perform on stage together, worked on improvisation skills and learnt technical tips and tricks from the college students and director.

DSC 0066

At 6 pm the concert started with a performance of two joint blues pieces with Grade 7 and 8 members from the Middle School Jazz Band, Naptown Blues and C Jam Blues. It was thrilling to see some of our youngest jazz players standing up and taking solos with the college students. Next, the High School Jazz Band performed a vocal version of All of Me, followed by joint performances of Bone Case Full O' Blues and There's Only So Much Oil in the Ground. The blues piece featured a huge number of solos and lots of 'trading 4s' between the college students and our students. It was exciting to see our students stepping outside of their comfort zone and playing out confidently amongst such wonderful musicians.

DSC 0147

The concert finished with a wonderful set of music by Tokyo College of Music's Jazz Ensemble, directed by virtuosic trumpeter and lecturer Rick Overton. The group had promised to raise the bar even further on previous performances with this specially prepared program and didn't disappoint. Highlights included Gordon Goodwin's version of Samba del Gringo, vocal numbers I'm beginning to see the light and Birdland, a stunning version of Blues in Hoss Flat and a tenor sax feature on Blue Moan. The ensemble brought the house down with a raucous finale of El Caborojeno by Bob Mintzer.

A highlights video of this joint event will be released on Saint Maur Live in the near future. We are delighted that the college students enjoy their visits to Yokohama to work with our students and we look forward to future collaborations with them to supercharge Saint Maur's Jazz program.