posted April 3, 2013

Hope Jazz Combos to Perform on Monday, April 8

Hope College Jazz Chamber Ensembles will perform on Monday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The featured groups will be the Prestige Ensemble, the Vanguard Ensemble, the Verve Ensemble and the Blue Note Ensemble.

The Prestige Ensemble will perform “Equinox,” by John Coltrane; “Misty,” by Eroll Garner; and “Song for My Father,” by Horace Silver. The group is coached by senior Michael Reynolds of Tampa, Fla., and the advisor is Brian Coyle, who is a professor of music and director of the jazz studies area at Hope.  The students involved in the ensemble are: guest student Isaac Anderson of Holland, piano; freshman Tae Hyun Choi of Shanghai, China, bass; junior Brian Mulhern of Portage, drums; and sophomore Macall Smith of Macatawa, guitar.

The Vanguard Ensemble will perform “Look to the Sky,” by Antonio Carlos Jobim; “There is No Greater Love,” by Isham Jones and Marty Symes; and “Straight, No Chaser,” by Thelonious Monk.  The group is coached by Mike VanLente, instructor of jazz percussion, and the student participants are: freshman Ryan Backman of Oro Valley, Ariz., bass; junior Guillermo Flores of Holland, alto sax; sophomore Thomas Mahaffie of The Hague, The Netherlands, trumpet; senior Michael Reynolds of Tampa, Fla., drums; and freshman Matthew Tallman of York, Pa., piano.

The Verve Ensemble will perform “Barbados,” by Charlie Parker; “Cantaloupe Island,” by Herbie Hancock; and “Milestones,” by Miles Davis. The group is coached by Tom Lockwood, instructor of saxophone, and the student participants are: junior Blake Daugherty of Muskegon, drums; freshman Carsten Forester of Holland, bass; senior Justin Makowski of Detroit, piano; and sophomore Ashley Ritsema of Grand Rapids, alto saxophone.

The Blue Note Ensemble will perform “Nica’s Dream” by Horace Silver; “But Beautiful,” by Van Heusen/Burke; “How High the Moon,” by Hamilton/Lewis; and “Footprints,” by Wayne Shorter. The group is coached by Steve Talaga, instructor of jazz piano and composition, and the students involved are: senior Mike Bass of Hudsonville, bass; sophomore Jarred Mackey of Jackson, drums; freshman Colin Rensch of Kalamazoo, piano; and freshman MacKenzie Swart of Grand Rapids, vocals.

The jazz chamber ensembles afford students the opportunity to perform in the classic small-group combo setting.  The ensembles vary in size and instrumentation, and place a creative focus on improvisation and group communication.  All of the ensembles perform works from the classic jazz repertoire.   The more advanced jazz chamber ensembles also perform repertoire from the contemporary jazz world.  These ensembles also place an emphasis on original student and faculty compositions.  All ensembles are coached by members of the Hope jazz faculty.  The jazz chamber ensembles are open to anyone interested, regardless of experience with jazz.

Nykerk Hall of Music is located in the central Hope campus at the former 127 E. 12th Street between College and Columbia avenues.