Jazz Band offers musical selections for all at upcoming concert


ONE, TWO, THREE—The Jazz Band prepares for its second concert of the semester with director Mark Flaherty. Photo courtesy of NMU Communications and Marketing

Jesse Wiederhold

Saxophones, trombones, trumpets and more will ring through the auditorium as jazz band students perform modern pop culture music, instrumental works and student compositions. 

The NMU Jazz Band is primed to play their second concert of the semester at 7:30 p.m. in Reynolds Recital Hall on Thursday, Nov. 21.

The concert will consist of two different sections, with the whole ensemble playing first followed by smaller combos. The bands have been preparing pieces like “Idioteque” by Radiohead, and other works by Jeff Coffin, a famous saxophonist and composer. There will also be beautiful ballads played as well, which are slower, more sentimental tunes.

The event is free and is open to the public. 

“Since there is no uniformed theme, there will definitely be something for everyone,” Jazz Band Director Mark Flaherty said.

Flaherty will be leading the big band during the concert, and will also appear in one of the combos, playing the piano.

Something unique about this concert is that some of the pieces the band will perform are written by NMU student musician Griffin Anspach, who has also composed titles for the band in the past.

Flaherty said that the audience can expect to hear many jazz solos by different members in the big band’s performance. These students improvise most of their solos, shining a light on their creativity and skill within their instrument and art of music.

The last concert the band held was a bit earlier in the semester than usual, leaving them more time to prepare for this one. Flaherty said that was nice, having more time to practice and really fine-tune for an exceptional show.

The Jazz Band is made up of a standard big band formation, or jazz orchestra group. This includes a rhythm section, with instruments like the guitar, bass, piano and drums. In addition, saxophones, trumpets and trombones that have  been used since the creation of jazz.

A whole boatload of practice comes before the performance though. These musicians meet three days a week to practice for class. They meet in their sections too, as well as practicing individually on their own time.