There’s something magical about sitting in a dark theatre alone.
Last night, I went to the “We Always Swing” jazz series for the first time. I’ve never had anything against jazz before, but I’d never been to a formal concert before. I was going as a requirement for a class and ended up completely enjoying myself.
The performance was a combination of the MU Concert Jazz Band and the professional Joe Locke-Geoffrey Keezer Group. I’ve always been involved in music programs, and I think it’s so phenomenal that college students have the opportunity to perform with professional musicians. The program is benefitting more than just the Columbia community members who bought tickets. It’s fostering jazz education. And the Concert Band was great. I didn’t realize that they weren’t professional musicians until reading the program at intermission.
The second half was solely the Joe Locke-Geoffrey Keezer Group. They performed some of their older songs, but were promoting their newest CD Signing. The first thing Joe Locke did when he entered the stage was ask the Missouri Theatre to turn up the lights to see the audience’s faces. I’d never been to a performance where the musicians wanted so much audience interaction, unless it was a major concert tour. He talked about music being an interactive process. A conversation between the musicians on stage and the audience in the seats. It was something I’d never heard an artist say before, and absolutely refreshing. We’re involved in the experiences we have at the theatre and bring our experiences, opinions and feelings.
Getting all of that out of a mandatory concert on a Thursday was pretty sublime.