Guest clinician Dan Jordan joins Southeast jazz ensembles for Friday night performance

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Southeast Missouri State University's Jazz Lab Band performs during their "Swing, Swang, Swung" concert at the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at the River Campus on Friday, April 23, 2010. (KRISTIN EBERTS)

Friday night's jazz concert at Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus was the last on-campus performance of the season for the Jazz Lab Band and the Studio Jazz Ensemble.

Both groups were directed by Dr. Robert Conger and featured a special guest clinician, Dan Jordan, playing solos in several selections. Many students playing bass, trombone, trumpet, saxophone, drums, piano and guitar were also able to feature their talents with solos.

Upon introducing Jordan, Conger told the audience of 180 people about the first time the two met, in college 30 years ago. The first time he ever saw Jordan, he said, he was "wailing on a sax like a wild man."

Jordan joined the Jazz Lab Band playing jazz flute in the selection "Angela" and on tenor saxophone for "Steamsville."

At the end of "Steamsville," student Sean Kenney took over with a percussion solo.

Michael McKeever, a first-year university student, said he attended the concert as part of as an assignment for his music appreciation class. He said he enjoyed the Jazz Lab Band, and that the solo by Kenney at the end of the ensemble's last selection was sensational.

Southeast alumnus Angie Iacampo attended to the concert to see the Jazz Lab Band, in which she played the piano before her graduation last semester.

"They have really got it together," Iacampo said.

"Sean [Kenney] took it away and had a lot of control."

Iacampo said the ensemble has improved since last year, and she noticed a better rhythmic consistency.

Rob Davis is in his fourth year with the Jazz Lab Band. He played two tenor saxophone solos in the concert. Davis said working with Jordan was a good experience, and that he had inventive ways of teaching.

On Thursday night, Davis said, Jordan gave him and other ensemble members a lesson on improvisation playing, and also taught them how to teach it to others.

Jordan joined the Studio Jazz Ensemble for their last three selections in tenor saxophone solos.

The Jazz Lab Band and the Studio Jazz Ensemble differ in how students are selected for each. Membership in the Studio Jazz Ensemble is by audition only. Jazz Lab Band is designed to teach students who know music but have no prior jazz experience how to play using new techniques.

Friday's concert concluded the university music department's first Jazz Series. This season's final performance by the university's jazz bands will be from 8 to 11 p.m. May 7 at Buckner Brewing Co.

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