Small Jazz Ensembles

Small Jazz Ensembles

Small jazz ensembles perform at Williams College in the coming days, treating audiences to a concert by the musicians who make jazz at Williams so vibrant.

Small Jazz Ensembles reinvigorates the scene with an evening of fresh new sounds. On Wednesday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m. the Small Jazz Ensembles appear under the leadership of  Andy Jaffe, the man responsible for making the metronome of jazz at Williams tick. A tireless educator and performer, his group flavors the program with jazz originals: So You Say, and Goose Chase are two titles by Andy Jaffe himself. Williams jazz students include Brad Polsky ’12 (Jazz Program Teaching Assistant) alto sax and clarinet; Christopher Picardo ’13, tenor and soprano saxophones Jonathan Dely ’15, trumpet; Matthew Staiger ’12, bass; Charlie Sellars ’13, drums; Daniel Schwartz ’13, guitar; and Taylor Halperin ’14, piano. The program is shared with a jazz combo coached by musician Avery Sharpe, who has played with many greats, including Dizzy Gillespie and Pat Metheny. Mr. Sharpe’s group is comprised by Brice Green ’15, alto sax; Kevin Lawkins ’13, acoustic bass; Eugene Murphy ’13, drums; Philip Parnell-drums ’13, Eric Liao ’14, piano; and Apoorva Lal ’15, guitar.

Drawing from his experience in the bands of such legendary Soul and R&B artists as Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops and The Temptations, Artist Associate of trombone John Wheeler and his students explore soulful and funky groove tunes from the 60s and 70s. Band members express themselves through their improvisation and collectively create their own arrangements of these classics. The group is part of a course that emphasizes a heightened musical awareness, spontaneity, and communication–all key components of  improvisation and small group performance. Tenor sax, Ethan Gracer ’14;  alto sax, Jackson Scher ’14; guitar, Andrew Beaudoin ’15; bass, Kevin Lawkins ’13; Dan Kohane ‘12, piano; and drummer Eugene Murphy ’13 play classics including Pick up the Pieces; Cold Sweat, and The Chicken, by Pee Wee Ellis.