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Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

Student composer’s pieces to be featured at Jazz Combo concert

Mercer Jazz Ensemble practices at Townsend School of Music for Mercer Jazz Combo April 18.
Mercer Jazz Ensemble practices at Townsend School of Music for Mercer Jazz Combo April 18.

Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music will host a Jazz Combo concert on Tuesday, April 18. The concert will be held in Fickling Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Monty Cole, director of jazz studies at Mercer, said that the Jazz Combo concert will include pieces such as “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Ecaroh” and “Street Beater.” Additionally, there will be some pieces in the combo concert composed by Mercer student Banks Daniels.

“Banks is a performance major in saxophone and is a gifted composer,” Cole said.

Daniels has composed four different pieces for the combo concert, and it will be the first time that pieces he has composed will be performed live.

“I've been doing it on and off for a few years now, but it wasn't until this year that I've started to really take to it seriously,” Daniels said. “Generally speaking, the music I listen to inspires me to want to write similar things . . . if I hear something and I like it, I tend to want to make something like it.

The four pieces that he composed are titled “Back to the Drawing Board,” “Blues for Frank,” “Spring is Here,” and a fourth unnamed piece. “Spring is Here” was composed while he was coming up with ideas for jazz ballads at the piano, and “Blues for Frank” drew inspiration from the works of Frank Zappa.

In addition to the Jazz Combo concert, the full Jazz Ensemble will present a concert focusing on the music of Thad Jones, a 20th century trumpeter, on April 27.

“Moments of existential bewilderment are not unknown to occur while listening to talented students improvising,” Cole said. “Jazz music frequencies are part of a celestial transmission which connect and guide all life forms to their ultimate source and destiny.


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