As Dave Finucane gracefully presses the keys on his tenor saxophone during a low tempo progression, Stephen Anderson is attentive to his every note. He counters it with his own melody on the piano and the crowd erupts into applause mid-song at the expertise of his solo.
That same crowd reaction was common throughout the night during 360 Jazz Initiative’s concert in Kenan Music Building at UNC-Chapel Hill Monday night. It was the first of five concerts taking place at the university during the week of June 15-19 as part of the UNC Summer Jazz Workshop, culminating in a completely student-led combos showcase on Friday.
The concert was performed to celebrate the release of the initiative’s first Summit Records CD, “Distracted Society.”
Anderson, an associate professor in the music department at UNC, founded the workshop seven years ago to provide a highly immersed jazz program to students ranging from middle school age to college age. Anderson has served as the director since and is also the pianist for the initiative.
“Making these songs was some of the most challenging work I have done,” Anderson said.
The rest of the band is composed of Jim Ketch, John Parker, Scott Sawyer, Jason Foureman, Dan Davis, and Juan Alamo who play the trumpet, guitar, bass, drums and percussion, respectively.
“Fish Wars,” a song about the everlasting UNC-Duke rivalry, was met with a prolonged standing ovation as it capped off the night.
To learn more about 360 Jazz Initiative’s music go to music.unc.edu