Words: Thomas Hitt
Photos: Zach Grable
On a brisk Monday evening, May 29, The Early Bird Big Band, Centennial’s jazz band, presented their first ever 90-minute jazz concert featuring a professional sound crew, providing the best listening experience possible.
To open the night, the jazz band played “Magic Flea.” The second song of the night was “A Time for Love,” featuring a trombone solo by Jack Keane.
After the trombone feature, the band played “Caravan,” with a drum, bass and alto sax solo.
The jazz band played The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” followed by the theme from the hit TV show Family Guy.
A fun song including saxophone, drum and trombone solos were featured in the next song, “The Chicken.”
Next, the jazz band performed Count Basie’s “Flight of the Foo Birds,” which included a tenor sax solo by Milynn Lekhavanija, an alto sax solo by Colin Eng and a trumpet solo by Joshua Oberly.
For the jazz band’s eighth song of the night, they played Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The saxes opened the song and Keane entered on trombone with the melody and chorus.
After “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the jazz band went backstage for a short break. However, they shortly returned and played “Sesame Street” with a solo by drummer Jackson Rowles and trumpeter Colin Homassel.
The tenth song was “Backlash,” a jazz combo featuring the rhythm section, Homassel on trumpet, Eng on alto sax, and Keane on trombone.
Saxophonist Eng performed a solo in “Georgia on my Mind” after the jazz combo, while the rest of the band accompanied him. The song was delicate and precise with a warm sound from the saxophone solo.
Following “Georgia on my Mind” was “Afro Blue,” and the next song performed was Stevie Wonder’s ”Higher Ground.”
The jazz band then performed “Sing, Sing, Sing” a jazz tune composed by Benny Goodman. The song featured solos from both Rowles and Oberly. After the jazz band finished the song, the audience rose to their feet with clapping and cheers.
For the final song of the night, the jazz band performed Justin Bieber’s “Despacito.” The band again received a standing ovation from the audience.
“It was a lot of work, and in the end it paid off,” said Keane. Since the jazz band is not a huge program, Keane said “[he takes] pride in the fact that [he’s] helping to build the program up.”
Senior and baritone sax jazz musician, Seth Crumley, said “I think that having a concert focused on jazz was a great way to showcase the jazz band. A lot of people attended and really seemed to enjoy it.”
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