Arts & Culture / Mosaic / Music / October 30, 2009

Alumni return to a weekend of jazz

This weekend was not your average weekend for jazz in Galesburg. There were three events at which you could have gotten your fair share of jazz. The first was this past Thursday’s Jazz Night at McGillacuddy’s, which hosted four hours of jazz. At the Fat Fish Pub, Knox alumni and members of the Cherry Street combo played for alumni and members of the town looking for a Friday night drink. For much of the day on Saturday, the Gizmo was filled with jazz from the many different combos on campus in hopes of raising money for the jazz program.

Jazz Night

It was another cold night in Galesburg, but there was some heat coming from the doors of McGillacuddy’s. The night started out like every other Thursday, with jazz guru David Hoffman finishing off his dinner and acting like one of the regulars. With David’s help, the Cherry Street combo provided a large majority of the tunes on Thursday night. The combo was twenty minutes late, but no one minded or worried because that is a normal amount of time for any jazz musician to be late by. When the jazz started a bit after 8 p.m. the place was still a restaurant and the crowd was not very attentive to the live music that has just started, but that changed once the kitchen closed. Don’t be worried about the quality of jazz before the kitchen closes, as the quality was pristine throughout the night. After the kitchen closed, the tables emptied of plates and started getting covered with books and other homework that Knox students brought.

David Hoffman’s Cherry Street combo was built up of the cream of the crop of jazz musicians at Knox. The combo was held together with the rhythm section of junior Scott Sapp on drums, junior Jimmy Pittman on bass and senior Corey Heppner rounding out the rhythm section on guitar. Seniors Mike Yu and Doug Fennig on saxophones and sophomore Zach Lawrence on trombone front the combo. Trumpeter, jazz guru and leader David Hoffman joined in on a few charts after his dinner was finished. This combo played for a large part of jazz night, but lacked a monopoly because of their sit in sets where people were encouraged to come up and play a tune or two.

The peak of jazz night attendance came around 11 p.m. The Knox community as well as the Galesburg community flooded into McGillacuddy’s to enjoy the wonderful tunes from the Cherry Street combo. Most Thursday nights, it is difficult to find a free table to sit at and this week was no different, especially with the influx of alumni returning to their school and as well as usual Thursday night habits.

If you want to see what the jazz program has to offer and what it has produced, come to Jazz Night. If you want to have some nice music to get work done to and are getting tired of your dorm room or the library, come to Jazz Night. If you want to relax from a stressful week, come to Jazz Night. It happens every Thursday from the first week of every term to the end of the term and even many weeks between terms.

Alumni Jam Session and Jazz-athon

The alumni jam session at Fat Fish Pub was the most lacking part of the weekend of jazz. The jam session was run mainly by Cherry Street combo members. The alumni at the bar were enjoying their time even with the lack of alumni involvement in the jam session. The combo members and the few alumni were more than capable of holding their own that night for three hours of jazz.

Jazz-athon in the Gizmo on Saturday provided the most entertainment to a very large number of alumni and students. Five combos and one hour long jam session provided five hours of entertainment. The combos played a very wide variety of jazz tunes. This jam session helped raise nearly 300 dollars for the jazz program that will go a long way to providing instruments, trips and even recording a new CD.

John Williams


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