“A One and a Two and a Fun Time for You”

-Benny Warnick, A&E Editor

Not everyone knows about the complexities surrounding a jazz band production. Some may think, “Oh a recital…great…” without truly understanding what a jazz recital looks like. According to sophomore tenor saxophonist John Janikowski, the show is quite the complex undertaking.

“The rhythms and grooves set jazz band apart,” Janikowski said. “Jazz is more of being able to read the music better, being able to improvise better, and think of more things on the fly while you’re soloing.”

The Mississippi College Jazz Band will perform their fall recital on Nov. 10 from 8 to 9 p.m. in the Jean Pittman Williams recital hall in Aven Hall at Mississippi College. The show is free to the public, sponsored by the Mississippi College Music Department, and will feature such selections as Thelonius Monk’s “Around Midnight” and Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5.”

The band focuses on selecting songs that will both challenge the performers and keep the audience tapping their toes. Janikowski knows that the show will be anything but boring.

“People should expect to groove and dance in their seat. It’s less ‘stuffy’ than a symphonic winds concert. You sit down and you listen to a symphonic winds concert, and it’s still good music, but you kinda sit there and appreciate it. Jazz is more concentrated on having a good time and having fun for both the players and the audience. I’m expecting there to be a lot of energy,” said Janikowski.

Wayne Linehan will once again act as the conductor for the performance, with Dr. Craig Young joining the student performers on second alto saxophone. This year’s group is larger than the 2013 jazz band, adding more complexity to the band’s pieces.

“Last year we had a much smaller group,” Janikowski said. “Now that we have a full, big band, the focus is less on instrumentation and more on challenging us with what we play.”

Even with a larger group, jazz challenges performers to be crisp and ready when need be. The inability to simply blend in forces musicians to be on their toes and to constantly evaluate the group around them.

“It’s still a smaller group, so there’s not as much room to hide,” Janikowski said. “If one person doesn’t play out as much, you can hear it more than you would in a symphonic setting.”

Given the show’s diversity, both traditional and nontraditional fans of jazz music will be able to find entertainment in the performance.

“The show’s got everything from the very beginning of jazz to modern arrangements and notable pop songs,” said Janikowski. “The diversity has helped me to become a better player as a whole. It’s really fun to perform, and I know the audience will see that.”

For more information, contact Dottie Serio at 601-925-3440 or email serio@mc.edu.

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