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Jazz review

For those of you who have not yet attended one of the listed live jazz performances, select one of the following video-recorded live jazz performances to “attend” and review:
Herbie Hancock  2008 Newport Jazz Festival

Fourplay  2000 Newport Jazz Festival

New York Jazz Giants  1992 Newport Jazz Festival

Nancy Wilson  1987 Newport Jazz Festival

The Crusaders  1987 Newport Jazz Festival


Please write about:

1) Your experience of attending the performance, which can serve as a “frame” for your review.  The performance venue, the people you see, the performance hall–describe these aspects of the experience that take place before the concert itself.  Convey to the reader distinctive characteristics of the performance venue and the stage setting.

2) The performance–the performers, the instruments, the music–this is the heart of what you are writing about!  Select the piece or pieces that most impressed you.  Describe the performance and your response to the music.  Highlight individual performers, if that was one of the impressive aspects of the concert.  Describe as best you can what you hear and how it affects you.

3) Consider, too, whether you recognize any aspects of jazz or jazz style(s) in the music.  Has our study thus far allowed you to perceive aspects of the music that you might not have observed before studying?  For example, melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre–blue notes, swing rhythms, syncopations, improvisation–are there aspects of these musical elements that stand out for you that you can describe?

4) Finally, reflect on the value of attending a live performance of jazz at such a high level of artistry.  Did you enjoy the music?  Has the experience changed you in any significant way?  Offer a conclusion to your paper that conveys your “take-away” from the experience.

One final suggestion:  Write in your own “voice,” and be as expressive as you can.  Make this an interesting and enjoyable read!  After the reader has read your concert review, if the reader wants to be there with you the next time to share the experience, then you have done a superb job!


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