Rob Dixon was the featured artist for the Jazz Concert Series, on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at the University of Indianapolis. Dixon, an Atlanta, Ga. native, completed the Master’s Program in jazz studies at Indiana University.
After college, he moved to New York and traveled around the world, where he worked with well-known performers, such as Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Ellington band, Spike Lee’s father Bill Lee, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Indianapolis musician Wes Montgomery and many others.
In 2002, Dixon moved back to Indianapolis, where he works with a number of organizations including The Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra and the Cleveland Heritage Jazz Orchestra, and serves as director of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Youth Jazz Ensemble. He also leads a funk- jazz group called Trilogy +1.
His quartet consisted of himself playing lead saxophone, with instrumentalists playing the trumpet, keyboard and drums. The quartet played a seven song set of originals and covers. The originals were “If We Must Die,” “Found by Love,” “Far and Away,” “10X” and “Cascade”. The covers were “All the Things You Are,” by Jerome Kern, and “In a Sentimental Mood,” by Duke Ellington.
Smooth Jazz, Ragtime, Big Band and New Orleans/ Dixieland are all different styles of jazz that can be heard in Dixon’s music. During each song, each instrumentalist had an opportunity to showcase his skills in an improvisational period. Junior sports management major Da’chera Baker enjoyed this portion of the performance
“It was definitely an experience,” Baker said. “I liked the parts where each person [instrumentalist] would take a turn and play. That was really cool.”
UIndy alumna Rebecca Smith said she has always enjoyed the performances offered through the music department.
“I feel like I never left this place, because I’m always here enjoying the featured artists,” she said.
Smith said she always has had a love for all genres of music.
“Coming to these concerts during the week was my get away from life, or my study break. And it’s funny, because I use these concerts for the same purpose today,” Smith said.
A list of these events can be found in the Arts section on the UIndy website. The next performance in the Jazz Concert Series will be on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m., and will feature Saxophonist Sean Imboden.