Jazz: noun 

A type of American music with lively rhythms and melodies that are often made up by musicians as they play.

 Jazz lovers, get ready  for a fun-filled weekend. Methodist University is hosting a jazz festival on Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Huff Concert Hall in Reeves Fine Arts Building on the campus of Methodist University. 

“The festival is really geared towards people who are actively looking at learning about how to perform jazz better,” said Dr. Daniel McCloud, director of Methodist University Band. “We have some school groups performing and they are Methodist University, Fayetteville State University and Pine Forest Middle School.” 

McCloud added that there will be a hands-on clinic taking place on the morning of the festival. 

The music performed will have a distinctive sound. 

“Methodist University Band will play a Ragtime piece and a fairly contemporary Latin jazz piece,” said McCloud. “Then we are going to perform something that is straight swing.”  

McCloud added that Mike Wallace is the guest musical clinician, who will impart his knowledge to all of the groups.    

Jazz is a genre of music that originated in African-American communities in the late 19th and early 20th century and is defined as one of America’s original art forms. When you think of jazz music, you think of Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. The history of jazz has its roots firmly planted in the cities of New Orleans, Chicago, and New York City. The music often has a strong rhythmic under-structure and includes blue notes as well as solos. Call-and-response patterns and improvisation of melody are all part of jazz music.

The Methodist University Jazz Ensemble is a seven-piece jazz combo. Most
of the students joined the group because they were curious and did not have
prior experience. 

“The students involved in our performance are part of the Methodist University Jazz Ensemble,” said McCloud. “This is our big outreach project for the year.”  

McCloud added that the group continues to grow and develop every time
they perform.   

“This event is about generating an interest in jazz music within the schools,” said McCloud. “It’s a really distinct American art form and there have been some of the greatest jazz players in the history of playing right here in North Carolina and it is a little sad for me to see that there are very few schools that actively teach it.”   

The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 630-7100. 

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