By Owen Lee, Staff Writer
UMass Dartmouth was treated to a night of jazz on Wednesday, October 1, in CVPA. A monthly freestyle jazz performance was held that night, where UMass invited interested local musicians to brush up on their skills by performing for students and staff. The event was open to the general public, and held in Room 153 in CVPA.
This night’s performers were Marcus Monteiro on the saxophone, Jim Robitaille on guitar, Sean Farias on the cello, and Chris Poudrier on drums.
This performance is part of the 2017 Fall UMD Performance Jam Session Series performing every other Wednesday, at 8:00 p.m. from October 4 to November 15.
Previous performances this season were lead by local musicians like Dino Govoni and Wes Brown, with Jim Robitaille leading on October 18.
The band played covers of classic jazz songs such as “Out of Nowhere” and “Body and Soul” by Johnny Green, “So What” by Miles Davis, and “What is This Thing Called Love” by Cole Porter.
“It’s open to anybody as long as you know jazz, I guess,” Monteiro, who lead the quartet this evening, told The Torch.
When asked how often he and the group practiced beforehand, he said “With this group? None. It’s jazz, you know, I called a whole ton of standards that we knew, or they called some that I might not have known, but… It’s a general collection of tunes that everybody knows,” referring to the well-known nature of the songs they covered.
Given the casual nature of the performance and the interpretive nature of jazz, sticking to a script wasn’t a priority anyway, as long as the band was in harmony.
The evening was very casual and fun, fitting for an appreciation for this style of music. The performers were talented, and the atmosphere was very relaxing.
Jokes were shared between the musicians and audience in between songs. At one point, a member of the audience gladly assisted with technical troubles on the band’s part.
At the end of the performance, audience members were invited to try the instruments, which were school property, for themselves in their own jam session.
The next jam session, the final one of the season, will be a two-person performance on November 15 starring Stephen Hayes and Dharmachakra.