The University of Indianapolis welcomed back saxophonist Jamey Aebersold on Thursday, April 14, as a part of Jazz Week. Aebersold had previously performed for UIndy Jazz Week in 2012, according to the UIndy Jazz Week archives.
Aebersold performed on stage with a pianist, bassist and drummer with a featured guest who performed the Saturday of Jazz Week, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson. Aebersold’s set list included nine songs, one of which was an original.
Performing for 71 years, Aebersold has been a jazz musician since childhood.
“I was probably 10, 11, 12 when I first started hearing some jazz records,” Aebersold said. “I went and bought them, and it intrigued me. I couldn’t let go of them.”
Around the age of five, Aebersold began to play piano, which launched the beginning of his music career.
“Just the sounds of it [piano] intrigued me. I played piano for about five years, and then I started playing saxophone at about 12,” Aebersold said.
Freshman pre-med biology major Jayme Hambleton attended Aebersold’s concert because of previous years studying jazz in high school. According to Hambleton, her instruments included alto and baritone saxophone.
“I played in band since the fifth grade and in jazz specifically, I had played since the eighth grade.” Hambleton said.
Hambleton said she was meeting requirements for a class at UIndy by attending the concert but was interested in the performance itself.
“First off, I have to write a concert report over it [the concert],” Hambleton said. “I had known that he [Aebersold] was a very good saxophonist by my band teacher, Ralph Brown. He used to talk about him so I decided to check him out.”
The pieces performed in the show made an impression on Hambleton.
“My favorite song was ‘Moon Alley’ or ‘Perdido’ by Duke Ellington,” Hambleton said. “‘Moon Alley’ had a nice swing style, and I’ve always been a sucker for swing-style jazz. Granted, that is all of jazz, but this one is special. I also enjoyed Warmdaddy’s addition to it [‘Moon Alley’].”
Aebersold was accessible to audience members at the end of the show, allowing conversations to happen as musician-to-musician or musician-to-audience member. A few of UIndy’s music majors were able to get a photo taken with Aebersold and talk with him about his saxophone.
UIndy’s Spring Choral Concert will be held in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall on Sunday, May 1.