‘Legends of Jazz’ welcomes Grammy nominated musician

The Channel Arts Pages | STAFF REVIEW


Jazmyne Cushenberry

The Lunch Break band performing the song “Shuh-Chack” by composer Scott Lillard at the Legends of Jazz Concert in Garvin Theatre on West Campus at City College, April 14.


The City College Jazz bands lit up the stage last night with the help of a young jazz legend to present the “Legends of Jazz” concert at the Garvin Theatre.

The concert featured the talents of over 60 student musicians and also Grammy nominated saxophonist, Ben Wendel, of the American band, Kneebody.

Kneebody is known for its eclectic style using jazz tonalities to create music that incorporates urban-signifying genres such as pop, rock, and hip-hop.

Monday Madness Big Band, the Good Times Band and Lunchbreak Big Band all got a chance to work alongside Wendel.

The Good Times Big Band, directed by Eric Heidner, started off the night by performing the song “Chet’s Call,” composed by legend Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays.

Performed with much enthusiasm and conviction, the intentional clutter of overlapping sounds and tunes would make one think of the movie “Alice in Wonderland.”  All that was needed were some teacups and the Cheshire Cat and to be falling down the rabbit hole.

Next came a beautiful rendition of “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” the Tommy Dorsey classic made famous by Frank Sinatra. The performance was delightful and may I say “adorable.” It sounded like two people falling in love and the fondness they have for each other.

The Lunchbreak Big Band, directed by Jim Mooy, followed and effortlessly performed their three-song set.

The first song, “Carmelo’s By the Freeway,” was very energetic with a ‘get up and go’ feeling about it. It is the perfect song to replace coffee to get up and going.

Wendel executed a flawless saxophone solo that had everyone mesmerized during, “Shuh-Chack,” a song composed by Lunchbreak’s very own trumpet player, Scott Lillard. This piece also gave students from the band impressive standout moments and solos.

“Shuh-Chack,” was one of the most energetic pieces of the night, presented in an almost conversation-like manner. The energy, harmony and enthusiasm flow through the instruments one by one. Lillard did a remarkable job creating a piece that popped. It’s one of those songs that just make the audience feel good.

Monday Madness, directed by Isaac Jenkins, was the final band to perform with a five-song set.

“The Sparrow Was Gone in an Instant,” written by up-and-coming composer Aaron Hedenstrom, was perfectly carried out in a fairytale-like manner. The enchanting sounds were so flawless that even Cinderella would have never left the castle at midnight. Jenkins was so passionate directing students on stage making it a more lively and engaging performance.

The band followed this performance with energetic tunes, “The Chinese Samba,” “From Above,” and closed the show with a lively rendition of “Who me?”

Monday Madness was truly a delight.

It was a wonderful show filled with talented musicians and enjoyable music that had audience members swaying and moving to the beat. The performance was captivating and the music showed a lot of emotion.

The “Legends of Jazz” concert was part of the Harold Dunn Memorial Concert Series. Be sure to catch “Music Now!” at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 25, at the Garvin Theater, to hear the latest trends in music as students present a concert of original music and images.