Students send the rich sounds of jazz echoing through West lobby

The rich sounds of the alto sax and guitar echoed through the lobby of the West building late last month as music majors hosted a jazz concert, delighting the audience while practicing their skills. Hunter students dressed in white shirts and black pants invited passers-by into the show, while chairs were organized on the right side of the Lobby, right in front of the former coffee shop. The space was full, and more than 50 people enjoyed an evening of melodious sounds.

Students Noah Silversmith , Derrion Malink, Yeva Mishailov, Sebastian Beillard and Ameerah Muhammad.

The first jazz combo started with a performance by Noah Silversmith on the alto sax, Derrion Malink on the guitar, Yeva Mishailov on the bass, Sebastian Beillard on drums and Ameerah Muhammad singing. Their first set included “This I Dig of You,” “Minority” and “Blue Seven.”

After a short introduction, the second group started with José de Los Santos on the alto sax, JB Gnonlonfoun on the piano and also as the lead singer. The audience smiled and danced at the sound of his voice and he improvised his movements as well – swaying with the music and playing up to the audience. Jon Pozzuto played the guitar, Sam Kim the bass and Joshper Miranda the drums. Both groups were directed by Ryan Keberle and Ike Strum and conducted by professor Matt Holman.

“These events give students the opportunity to perform, to experiment and explore creating music and improvisation, and work together as a community,” said Holman, who has been teaching here for four years. Holman was clearly excited to introduce his students to the public and he kept a smile on his face during the whole show. “Jazz is America’s indigenous art form. It is music that has been created through the melting pot of the American culture with the focus of improvisation and personal expression, which I think it is a beautiful thing historically and today. It is a great way for people to feel connected to the community and the arts.”

The concerts provide students the opportunity to communicate with the public, which helps them to improve their ability to perform. The students need to make sure their performance is outstanding in order to meet the expectations of the public.

José de Los Santos, Freshman.

“We are emerging musicians and artists, and the key for us to be successful is to perform,” said de Los Santos, 22 and a freshman. De Los Santos thinks these events need to be advertised more in the school to increase music students’ opportunities to be exposed to the public. “I like to swing the jazz, and I like the idea that you can improvise, and you can play with what you feel” he said.

Students offered support for the event by volunteering in front of the West building to hand out flyers and invite everyone who entered the building to attend the show, including Cheryl Chen, a 19-year-old sophomore and music major.

“I feel that live music performances are important for everybody to enjoy every once in a while,” said Chen. “Events like this, which are free and open to the public, are significant because there are so few of them in the city.”

The concert concluded with a long round of applause, cheers and smiles from the audience.

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