By: Madeline Doman – Staff Writer
The University of Dayton ArtsLive program aims to put on memorable performances by brilliant artists offering gorgeous music from a wide variety of backgrounds.
“We want students to get out of the box and expose themselves to new music,” Eileen Carr, ArtsLive director, said. “ArtsLive gives students a chance to look outside of their typical expectation or listening habits.”
On Thursday, for the first time in 10 years, ArtsLive will present two jazz concerts at UD. Two highly respected jazz musicians, Steve Wilson and Lewis Nash, will be performing the first concert.
Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson are two instrumentalists whose playing is deeply rooted in jazz history. These two musicians are leaders of jazz and work together to perform spectacular musical presentations for people to enjoy, Carr said.
“Both came to Dayton, but have never before come together to play,” Carr said. Nash and Wilson are very popular in the world of jazz and have played all over the world with some of the greatest jazz performers in the industry.
“If you’re curious to what jazz is, this is a good introduction,” Carr said. “Students not familiar with jazz will be able to sit back and enjoy a nice evening of music and creativity.”
“Improvisation is a main point of jazz,” Carr said. “The music is not consistent. ArtsLive believes a multiplicity of experiences is important.”
There is an immense amount of training and practice that goes into learning this skill, because there is not a clear list of songs. Instead Lewis and Nash have to improvise and make a decision on the sort of the music they will play.
“The musicians are sensitive about how their music influences their audience. They base their musical choice on how their audience responds,” Carr said.
She also said the venue will emphasize the audience’s experience at the concert.
“The small, shallow stage allows the audience to feel like they are right there with the musicians,” Carr said.
As it turns out, this jazz concert at UD is a gift from the city of Dayton. As a parting gift, the Cityfolk Jazz organization in Dayton has gifted UD with its Cityfolk Legacy Jazznet Endowment. With this fund UD is taking over the tradition of the Cityfolk organization and making it possible for Jazz programs to be implemented at the university.
“With the endowment, we want to do more than just the concert,” Carr said.
ArtsLive plans to house each new artist at UD making them available to both students and the Dayton Community.
On Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m, all students are welcome to attend a history of American jazz course with guest speakers, Wilson and Nash. They will be talking and performing a variety of their classical and acclaimed jazz works.
“Where else can you hear great music for a good price that is right on campus?” Carr said. This event is casual dress and gives students the chance to witness talented musicians performing masterpieces of jazz.
Steve Wilson and Lewis Nash will perform Thursday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. in Sears Recital Hall as part of ArtsLive. Admission will be $8 for students and $12 for faculty and staff.