The Baker Orange

Ensemble prepares for jazz concert

Story by Ludwig Johanning

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The Baker Jazz Ensemble is preparing for a challenging semester as it hosts a concert with a renowned jazz vocalist.

The ensemble will play with Kevin Mahogany on Nov. 21. Mahogany is a Baker University alumnus who is a well-known American jazz vocalist.

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“He will be singing with the band, and we are trying out some arrangements that I’ve bought that feature a vocalist,” Director of Jazz Ensemble J.D. Parr said.

Sophomore Steven Stendebach has played in the ensemble each semester and enjoys jazz music

“I think jazz is a really underappreciated genre and that everyone should listen to it,” Stendebach said. “I love how people just play whatever they feel like in jazz music.”

Parr agreed that jazz is undervalued.

“It’s an underappreciated art,” Parr said. “I have really learned to love jazz over the last 30 years.”<br/>

The band mainly plays big band jazz from the swing era and rehearses three days a week.

Stendebach said he particularly enjoys rehearsing and performing at Baker.

“It’s really low pressure. In other jazz bands I’ve been in its always been really high pressure. If you’re not first alto you know, you’re not a real jazz player,” Stendebach said. “Here everyone is friends with each other. It’s just about getting together and playing some jams together, and I like that.”