On Thursday, April 14, the “Jazz Ensemble Concert” was held at the Minsky Recital Hall conducted by Dan Barrett, professor of music theory and jazz courses at the University of Maine. UMaine was fortunate to receive a Cultural Affairs Committee/Distinguished Lecture Series grant that enabled a special guest artist to perform alongside the band and jazz ensemble.
Nadje Noordhuis from Sydney, Australia joined the jazz band and ensemble playing the trumpet. She is a faculty member of the College of Jazz Arts and Precollege Jazz Arts Programs at the Manhattan School of Music and Hunter College. She plays in the Grammy-winning Maria Scheinder Orchestra, in addition to performing in Grammy-nominated Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and Grammy-nominated Anat Cohen Tenet.
Noordhuis joined on the majority of the band’s songs, including “Song for Don”, which was written and composed by Bill McCarthy. Noordhuis also performed her songs “Big Footprint”, which she had composed, and “Song for Saskia.”
“This song was actually written for my daughter,” Noordhuis said. “But she’s in seventh grade now, so that’s a long time coming!”
The performance throughout the night was upbeat and fun, as the band played funky tunes that had everyone in their 20s to 80s tapping their toes to the beat.
After a brief intermission, the band switched places with the set and jumped straight into the next beautiful song, “Ojos de Rojo.” which was written by student pianist Myles Kelley.
Two songs later, Noordhuis returned to play alongside the new group of musicians for “Narayama”, a song that included not only a trumpet feature, but also a gripping saxophone solo. Barrett told the audience after the play that her brother, James Barrett, wrote it.
Closing the concert, the audience was serenaded by the final song “Sweet Time Suite” which had two parts: “II. For H.” and “III for January.” It was a smooth jazz beat to end the night, which sounded like Snoopy bouncing around during a “Peanuts” movie. UMaine’s jazz band, ensemble and Noordhuis received a well-deserved standing ovation after their performance.