All that Jazz at MU

Marshall University’s Jazz 1 band performed with special guest Earl MacDonald last night. The concert had performances of MacDonald’s arrangements as well as MacDonald performing on the piano.

MacDonald has visited Marshall University’s campus twice, with the 1st time being when he taught at the Music Summer Jazz Camp, where MacDonald taught mostly high school students. MacDonald also had the opportunity to give piano lessons to a few Marshall music majors. MacDonald described his 1st experience as “fantastic” and said that his favorite part was being able to have a follow up session with students after returning to the University.

MacDonald said he loves jazz for the creative aspects of the genre, noting improvisation as one of the things he loves the most about jazz.

MacDonald was invited to Marshall by Director of Jazz Studies, and trumpet Professor, Martin Saunders. Saunders met MacDonald in New Orleans, Louisiana at a jazz festival while MacDonald was a clinician for the Marshall group. Since the 1st trip to Marshall was such a success, Saunders invited MacDonald back for another Marshall music experience.

The Jazz 1 band spent approximately 3 weeks preparing for the concert. The majority of the pieces performed were from MacDonald’s latest album, which was recorded by New York professionals.

The MacDonald pieces performed were “Deedle’s Blues”, “Sordid Sort of Fellow”, “Woddy ‘n You”, “Joshua”, “Bad Dream” and “Friday Night at the Cadillac Club”. There was also a small group jazz combo featuring MacDonald that covered a few pieces.

The first performance, “Deedle’s Blues”, also featured vocals by a young female student. The student belted the lyrics to the song before departing the stage.

The stage was full of performers and the auditorium seating was over half way filled. Saunders, as well as many of the guests, were thrilled with the turnout. Saunders took the opportunity to inform the guests of a recent decision. Although donations have not been accepted in the past, the music department is now accepting donations to support the program.

Jazz 2 band will be performing at 7:30 p.m., on Oct. 14, at Smith Recital Hall.

Taylor Poling can be contacted by [email protected].