Jazz club keeps music going online

WSU Jazz Society invites all musicians; promotes jazz

Virtual+workshops+are+not+the+only+change+the+WSU+Jazz+Society+is+making.+Instead+of+the+more+traditional+jam+sessions+they+held+pre-quarantine%2C+the+club+discussed+playing+pre-recorded+pieces+for+each+other+to+receive+live+feedback.

Robert Hubner

Virtual workshops are not the only change the WSU Jazz Society is making. Instead of the more traditional jam sessions they held pre-quarantine, the club discussed playing pre-recorded pieces for each other to receive live feedback.

KASSANDRA VOGEL, Evergreen reporter

Whether you are a bonafide jazz connoisseur or still waiting to dip your toe in the water, the WSU Jazz Society is the place to listen and learn about jazz.

“You don’t need to be a player. You just need to have ears and be able to listen,” Lucas Blevins, club secretary and saxophone player said.

The club’s purpose is to promote, advocate and advance the field of jazz, according to the club constitution.

The group normally brings musicians and aficionados alike from across the nation to Pullman to present and perform, but things are looking a little different this year. The pandemic has caused the club to go digital, but members across the country still tune in to hear from the experts in jazz.

The club has upcoming forums from legends like trombonist Ray Anderson, who has been on the scene for nearly 50 years, as well as newer acts such as saxophonist Alexa Tarantino. These jazz forums are not only an opportunity for members to listen and interact with musicians but are also open to the public and free of charge.

The forums span a range of topics anywhere from a biography of Gerry Mulligan to an analysis of a transcription of a piece. Faculty adviser Max Harrington said the club tries to keep the topics broad and open.

Virtual workshops are not the only change the club is making. Instead of the more traditional jam sessions they held pre-quarantine, the club discussed playing pre-recorded pieces for each other to receive live feedback. The club also wants to begin hosting listening sessions where members collectively listen to a piece.

“I would love to see us perform for our peers, specifically our non-jazz peers,” Blevins said. “Make this organization bring in not just players of jazz but people who enjoy listening to the music.”

Though a dip in membership in the past years and the pandemic have changed the way some things look for the club, this time has also provided them an opportunity to regroup and focus on their goals.

“The club is at a turning point, there is a new outlook on what this club can be and there is a lot to look forward to for this club and what we will be doing,” treasurer Alex Belcher said.

The Jazz Society is always welcoming new members. Those who want to get involved can contact the faculty adviser at max.harrington@wsu.edu or message the club on their Facebook and Instagram pages.