“The essence of Jazz is improvisation,” said music professor Michael Burch-Pesses.
Jazz Nite is just around the corner and Burch-Pesses been helping the Jazz band prepare for the event taking place April 12.
For most students, improvising a speech or performance is terrifying and not a common practice, but for the Jazz band, improvising solos is what they have been preparing for since February.
“They’re excited but nervous,” said Burch-Pesses.
Jazz Nite has been happening for more than 25 years. Burch-Pesses has been directing the band for almost 18 of those years.
The Jazz band consists of 18 students, all of which will be performing improvised solos, as well as performing with guest artist Dan Balmer, who Burch-Pesses said is one of the top guitarists in Portland.
Balmer performed at the holiday dinner in the UC in December and Burch-Pesses said it was after the dinner that he decided to ask Balmer if he and his trio would perform at Jazz Nite.
Burch-Pesses said he also likes students to know that those performing at Jazz Nite are not all Music majors and it is a common misconception about the students in the different bands and choirs at Pacific. He said students majoring in science and other disciplines who were musicians in high school are encouraged to continue with music even if it isn’t their major.
Jazz Nite will take place at the Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12.