September 05, 2019 in Culture

Concert Review

Jazz is a genre of music that was invented in Africa American. It is one of the oldest music genres that have existed over a century ago. It uses all types of instruments ranging from drums, brass, guitar, trumpets and the piano. People who play Jazz music are skilled and those who start it undergo intense training. There have been many Jazz concerts in various parts of the world because this is a genre that has been embraced and celebrated by many. This essay discusses Salsa Jazz Concert that took place in Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus. 

Part 1

The Salsa Jazz Concert took place on Monday, November 9, 2015 7:30pm at Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus. Those that were present during the event were: Manuel Orellana and Rene Serrano who were in charge of the trumpets, Alex Cruz who operated the Trombone, Raul Duran Bustamante and Keanu Yarima were the saxophones’ operators. Drums and percussions were operated by David Vela Velazco, Jeremy Whitman, Frank Perez and Josh Nunez. Alejandro Perez and Benjamin Whitman were in charge of the bass. The piano operator was George Gonzales Alan Arce and Carolina de Leon were in charge of the Violin and Viola. Steven Alvarez played the guitar while Stephen Camacho was the Lead Singer.  Rafael Valencia was the director and also a performer. Some of the performers included Junior Capeda, Michel Le Grand, Woody Shaw, Oscar Hernandez, Mario Bauza and Poncho Sanchez. Each of them performed specific songs.  The performers played various types of Jazz music such as the Ragtime Jazz, there also those that played swing music, Big Band music was also performed while others performed the Be-pop music.

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Part 2

Ragtime Jazz is usually vibrant music that consists of enthusiastic moves. It also involved the playing of the piano. George Gonzales would use his skills to play the piano and everything turned out perfectly. The second type of performance was the swing music.  Swing music was evident when Poncho Sanchez played the Papa Gato song.  During this performance, special attention was payed to the rhythm selection. Papa Gato coordinated well with Alejandro Perez and Benjamin Whitman who played the bass to the best of their level. Furthermore, the drummers Frank Perez, Josh Nunez and David Velazsco did amazing work to ensure that they did not fail the Papa Gato during the performance. There was also the performance of Big Band Jazz by Junior Cepeda. This type of Jazz was evident when he performed the Quimbara song.  . This type of Jazz genre largely uses trumpets. The trumpet players, Manuel Orellana and Rene Seranno coordinated well with the artist on stage. The saxophones and the pianos were also widely used during this performance. All these instruments created harmonious and rhythmic movements that excited everyone that was present during the performance.  Another type of performance was the Be-pop that was performed by most pf the performers. Woody Shaw and Oscar Hernandez especially performed the Be-pop Jazz. This genre has a fast tempo and the intelligent use of instruments. The unique part of the Be-pop was that it consisted of two soloists who led the rest of the crew, and the playing of the piano, drum and the bass would follow. 

The performers would use improvisation whereby they would create new melodies from a certain tune and repeating these melodies severally before they would change them. Some of the performers would create these melodies from their original tunes, or they would use creativity to merge them.  Improvisation also involves composing or the melodies. Therefore, Jazz artists who have the ability to improvise are also good composers who can compose songs for themselves.  There are three known methods of improvisation that include: motivic, harmonic and melodic. Improvised melody is when the artist uses alternative notes and slurs so as to generate the melody in unique and exciting ways. Harmonic improvisation, on the other hand, involves the use of chords and tenor to come up with fresh soloing. Improvising by motives, on the other hand, consists of redefining statements and phrases to make the musical organization sophisticated. There are artists who use the three types of improvisation in their music while others use two or one of them. Hence, improvisation depends on the creativity and the expertise of the performer. 

Rafael Valencia who was also the director of the event and a performer as well did amazing work. The instrumental crew particularly the pianist George Gonzales was so skilled in comping the piano. The guitar player Steven Alvarez would comp the various chords that involved the 3rd and the 7th notes.  These processes would be alternated with the piano comping, and they would at some point do it harmoniously.  Frank Perez and Jeremy Whitman would also comp the drum, and this made the whole room lively. As a matter of fact, the comping experts must know how to balance between the voicings and the soloist mood. Failure to balance these may lead to disorganization and poor performance on the stage. 

Tempo refers to beats per minute of a song that are usually made by the various instruments in use during the performance. These are some of the aspects that never went unnoticed during this unforgettable night. One would realize that each of the performers had certain ways that his tempo moved.  All the instruments operators determined the type of tempo for each performance. Some of the performers like Junior Cepeda, Poncho Sanchez and Rafael Valencia had a fast tempo compared to the rest of the performers who tempo was a bit slow.

Part 3

The whole experience was great apart from one unusual thing that occurred. One of the performers, Oscar Hernandez would forget the lyrics of the Sentimeanto de Cancion song. He sang the first and the second verses perfectly. However, on reaching the third and the fourth verses, he started keeping quiet and would sometimes hum while on the stage. This was a great disappointment to the audience that had already started dancing and enjoying the song. This act disrupted the rhythm to such an extent that the instrument operators became disorganized in their tasks. The pianist George Gonzales and the guitarists Steven Alvarez went off key and no longer coordinated with each other. The Violin and viola operators; Alan Arce and Carolina De Leon also confused the rhythm. However, this performer remained confident and composed even when all these was happening. 

Generally speaking, the concert was epic, and I loved everything from the rhythm, the instruments used and the expertise of those that were performing.  Furthermore, I loved the way the performers improvised each aspect to come up with very creative performances. I loved the blowing of the trumpet and the playing of the Violin and the Viola. I had never before seen the level of experience I witnessed from those that were blowing the trumpe and the violin. However, I did not like the fact that the one of the icon in our Salsa Jazz Oscar Harnandez forgot the lyrics of the song he was performing. That was disappointing and a sign of unpreparedness which should not happen in concerts.

In conclusion, Jazz is a music genre that should be appreciated by everyone.  It has a lot to learn from starting from its educative lyrics to the expertise in the playing of all the instruments. Moreover, Jazz concerts are essential as they create a platform for the performers to practice and learn from each other. It is, therefore, essential that people embrace and support Jazz as it comes with a whole lot of benefits and is enjoyable as well.

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