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Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble Performs as Part of ACS Spring 2008 Lecture Series

By Margaux Kay LaPointe, '11 

For the sixth year in a row, the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble performed and taught jazz as part of the Augustine and Culture Lecture series. On Monday, Feb. 18, Warren Oree, bassist and lecturer, discussed, “Blue Jazz: The Role of Blues in Jazz.”

In addition to Oree, the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble includes Umar Raheem on saxophone and clarinet, Greg “Ju-Ju” Jones on drums, Frank Butrey on guitar, and Nina Fletcher on vocals. The event incorporated both explanation and performance of jazz and blues.

“Jazz is truly one of the most complex and connected forms of music,” Oree said. “One of the ironies about the jazz tradition is that you break the tradition. Jazz is a living organism…that expands, and gets crazy and wild.”

Jazz developed out of ragtime and blues, Oree explained. It combines technical qualities of music, such as reading notes and doing scales, with creative soloing techniques.

Explaining the relation between jazz and blues, Oree stressed the importance of emotion and expression. In their own performance, Oree and the ensemble closed their eyes and swayed to the rhythm of the music.

“It’s about contemplation,” Oree said. “No matter what the blues or jazz might mean to you, you have to get over the negativity. Even if you play the blues, you’re not supposed to get the blues from your music.”

The songs the ensemble performed included: “Blue Bishop,” composed by Raheem; a popular jazz song by Billy Holiday entitled, “God Bless the Child”; “Salsa Blue,” composed by Fletcher; “Blue Monk”; the ensemble’s original “Looking and Seeing”; and “You Got to be Better Than Before.” The ensemble also demonstrated improvisational techniques including soloing and scating.

The Web site of the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble is under construction but will be live soon.

Margaux Kay LaPointe, ’11, is a first-year student from Lebanon, Pa. She is an intern in the Office of Communications in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. Margaux plans on majoring in communication with a specialization in public relations.

Media Contact

Jennifer Schu

Director of Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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