The Suffolk Journal | Jazz Band organizes its first solo concert
The Suffolk University Jazz Band combined the unique personalities and performance styles of 10 students to give audiences a chance to dance to upbeat music on Wednesday night in their first solo show.
The group invited Suffolk students to dress up, eat tacos and bravely join them on the dance floor. The performance mixed covers of well-known songs like “Valerie” by The Zutons and “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, with upbeat instrumentals that got the whole band involved.
There were several times when the band focused on one member’s music so that the persona of the performer and their instrument could shine through to the audience.
“They were at their best when they were just jamming each other, just doing their own solos,” Lauren Donovan, a business economics major and Suffolk business law minor, said in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “I think they have very good chemistry, they will continue to do well.”
Taylor Gonsalves, a freshman in broadcast journalism, is one of the newest additions to the group. Gonsalves, who played the flute and sang during the show, found that the small venue and the audience felt more relaxed than a large show.
“It was a lot of fun, it was a small event. It was more laid back, not a lot of stress because it was mostly our friends,” Gonsalves said in an interview with The Journal. “We thought the semi -formal would be a good excuse for people to dress up fancy and have fun.”
Intermittently during the show, Gonsalves jumped off the main stage and encouraged several audience members to brave the dance floor with her.
Although there were several periods when the dance floor was left empty, Gonsalves’ efforts led the volunteer dancers to throw their own kind of performance in front of the audience. As these students began spinning with their partners, the room cheered and the music seemed to get louder.
“I love that they have the dance floor so you can watch people having fun, while watching the show,” Psychology major and Fine Arts minor Laura Adams said in an interview with The Newspaper.
“It was like a show within a show, it was awesome to watch,” Donovan agreed.
Although the musicians managed to fill the majority of seats in the Somerset Cafe, the only criticism of the event was its lack of publicity.
“I feel like it should have been advertised more, I feel like they would have had a bigger audience,” Donovan said.
“Just getting the word out more would be great, talking to more people and handing out flyers would work well, and having more PR would really get the word out,” Gonsalves said. “But all that matters is that everyone is having fun.”
When the band slowed down their group performance to highlight a particular member’s music, several audience members described being captivated by the personal nature of each performance.
“I love getting to know the band and meeting them personally, and I feel a lot of their personalities came through tonight in the performance. Like the way Amy got so into things, Paul has such a Hendrix vibe and is so funky, and Gabe is so fun and colorful, and I love seeing all of that,” Donovan said.
Gonsalves agreed that performances like those of the Jazz Band can uniquely break the expected role of the musician for the audience.
“Part of music is self-expression, people think you’re confined to what you’re playing from the logs in front of you,” Gonsalves said. “But the reality is that performing is so much more than that, and it’s up to us to make sure the audience sees us through the music.”