The University of Indianapolis will host a Jazz Combo and Latin Jazz Funk Ensemble Concert on Mar. 1 in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall. The ensemble will be directed by Associate Adjunct Professor of Music Terence Mayhue, who has worked at the University of Indianapolis for seven years and is currently in his 25th year of teaching higher education.
“I started the Latin Jazz Funk Ensemble about three years ago. I created the class because it was something that we needed in the [music] department, and it was an outlet that we needed for our students to have a different experience,” Mayhue said. “The class went through the curriculum process, and I became the director from the onset of it.”
As director of the Latin Jazz ensemble, Mayhue directs and rehearses the group, but also has had to collect, write and arrange the music for the group, according to Mayhue. Since the ensemble contains different instrumentation than most ensembles, there is not a lot of existing music for the group to play, according to Mayhue.
“The combination of those two groups [Latin and Jazz Funk] came just out of necessity. We’re trying to offer more variation in a single concert,” said Mayhue. “Our jazz combo group is more bang for your buck. We can have a 45-minute concert or we can have an hour and 10-minute concert. We can do two different groups with two different kinds of variations. I like variety. The concert will start with the jazz combo that is going to be doing some more straight jazz that is indicative of that idiom and genre.”
Assistant Professor and Director of Music Technology Brett Leonard works with the stage production for events like the Jazz Combo and Latin Jazz Funk concert. According to Leonard, his main focus during concerts is making sure all of the technical elements are working, including live sound, the sound on the recordings and making sure the stage is properly set.
“We’re still live-streaming pretty much all of our concerts, there’s one series that we don’t but we’re live-streaming this one,” Leonard said. “We’ll have a team of probably two people on the video crew who are doing that side of things, we’ll have somebody who is doing the audio recording and broadcast audio that’s feeding the live stream and we’ll have another person who is dealing with the live sound for the audience that’s in the house.”
According to Leonard, this concert will be high-energy because of the combined performances from the Jazz Combo group and the Latin Jazz Funk Ensemble. He said that with two groups performing, they will avoid the monotony that sometimes exists when only one group is playing.
“Probably the most different or special aspect is that it’s a lot larger than most of our concerts. We’re really pushing kind of everything, our equipment and our staff. Everybody’s sort of pushed to the limits, which from our side is really fun because it’s kind of like the main event. For us, it’s a big, big production.”
According to Mayhue, the performers will be excited to have an opportunity to come together for this concert. He said it will also be fun for the audience because it offers variety in what they will be hearing.
“We’re doing some intense, fun stuff. It was just kind of a natural collection of the two to make it easier for everybody to come together at the same concert,” Mayhue said.