Corridor Jazz Project

Derrick Voss, A&E Writer

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Xavier students had the opportunity to participate in one of the most exciting jazz opportunities of the year. For the past several years, Eastern Iowa’s Jazz station, KCCK, has organized the Corridor Jazz Project. The premise of the project is high schools collaborate with a professional jazz musician to record a piece with them, produced by professionals. The piece is then featured on a compilation CD which is made available for the schools to sell and can keep for profit. KCCK plays the CD periodically, especially during Jazz Appreciation Month in April.

Xavier’s twenty member Jazz Band One recorded their piece “Straighten Up and Fly Right” with upright bassist Blake Shaw on Tuesday January 15. They were able to rehearse several times during their normal practice to prepare for the recording.

Junior bass player Ben Trachta is participating in JBO for the first time this year and loved this experience. He was even able to share solos with a professional bassist.

“This experience helped show me that there are many opportunities for you as a member of jazz band, and there are other things besides competitions involved,” Trachta said.

The Corridor Jazz Project has been a treasured experience for the seniors especially.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to work with a different guest soloist each year and hear how they got to where they are now,” senior Anna Garbe said.

“I really enjoy listening to the CDs from my freshman year to now and being able to hear how JBO has grown and improved,” Garbe added.

Freshmen trumpeter Martin Bioche also gets to experience this opportunity his first year in JBO. To prepare for this event he practiced for about and hour and a half each week, depending on where he was at in his music. This project could seem overwhelming for a freshmen jazz musician, but not for Bioche. He had a simple strategy to prepare for the recording.

“Being on time for rehearsals and being ready to put in my own work,” Bioche said.

There will be a CD release party and concert held in the corridor area featuring the participating bands and their guest artists. Schools are given tickets to sell and can keep the proceeds. It will be a night full of jazz appreciation for the jazz musicians and listeners of Eastern Iowa alike.

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