Thursday, Oct. 15 saw a jazz concert at BC featuring a variety of talented musicians, including renowned trumpet player Marcus Printup from Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
This was the first time a professional musician at this level had partnered in a performance with the BC Jazz Band in a campus performance. Printup is in town to teach workshops and lead jazz clinics with many local organizations, as well as perform through Jazz Clubs NW. He has been playing with the creator of the organization, Danny Kolke, as well as Michael Glynn and Julian MacDonough on piano, bass and drums respectively. This performance was his only one with a big band while on this tour.
Printup engaged the audience during his performance through call and response, and even invited guests to sing to accompany him during one song. Jazz has long been a collaborative and expressive art form due to its focus on solo improvisation in a group context. The opening quartet that included Printup, Kolke, Glynne and MacDonough spoke to the spontaneity of the genre before performing a piece in the Bossa nova style where they had previously only played it in swing. Jazz is a genre that has a long history of crossing racial and cultural boundaries, in fact the U.S. congress declared Jazz to be a national treasure, recognizing that “Throughout America’s turbulent 20th century, jazz has entertained, interested, affected, and inspired Americans; it has contributed to, and been a reflection of, American culture.” Printup shared an experience during the Thursday show about his experience with this first hand. When he visited China he performed with musicians across a language barrier. Although they didn’t communicate through spoken words the entire night, the show was a success.
This collaboration of the quartet and the BC Jazz Band came about through a partnership with Jazz Clubs NW. The organization was started by Danny Kolke when he began the Boxley Music Fund in 2010 to support a a single jazz club in North Bend, Washington. The program has expanded to multiple venues for jazz performance and a huge focus on student achievement through the genre. This includes “ongoing recurring exposure to live performance of jazz, support of clinics and teaching forums with professional artists, performance opportunities with professionals, scholarship programs to help support private lessons, recording opportunities and assistance with creating demo recordings and access to professional musicians in a family friendly environment,” according to their website.
“One thing that’s important to us is being active in the community.” said Jim Sisko, director of the BC Jazz Band. Local collaboration includes performances at a local church, collaboration with high schools in the area, and upcoming performances at the Rotary Club of Bellevue and senior centers. One opportunity to see them off campus is every 2nd Wednesday at Tula’s Jazz Club in Seattle.
Members of the band include not only college age students, but running start students and adult members of the community who wish to continue to play. These professionals have careers of their own, but as Sisko said they are “really treating the community college component as it should be. They’re participating in arts programs through a community college.” This gives students a great opportunity to learn from skilled musicians with more years of experience. Individual students often perform on their own and in quartets at local coffee shops and venues as well.