The funky rhythm of jazz resonated in the Multi-Purpose room of the Student Memorial Center on Thursday night.

Thanks to the efforts of the Jazz ensemble directed by Keith Wiley, the ever-diverse sound of jazz came to Millersville.

With a decent size turnout both the MU Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz band, Shefftet gave a spectacular performance. The show began and ended with jazz numbers entertaining to those who are not even normally crazy about the music genre.

The performers put a lot of soul into the music and made sure to keep the feel of the concert lively and upbeat. The show started with the Jazz ensemble performing songs such as: The Jeep is Jumpin a very lively beated tune along with mellow songs such as Come Rain Come Shine.

They closed their first section with a Jazz dance-floor classic, Mambo Madness. Each song was meant to give a different taste of the music genre. No two were alike, but all were played well. The Jazz ensemble here at MU put together a very diverse set of jazz pieces.

MU's Jazz Ensemble plays lively tunes in the MPR. Photo by Christian Shuts.
MU’s Jazz Ensemble plays lively tunes in the MPR. Photo by Christian Shuts.

This was followed by a small performance of the jazz band, Shefftet. They announced their selections on stage and presented three wonderful songs. Song from My Father was their first selection, which was the quintessence of a Jazz club feel.

They let the smooth rhythm and melody play through the multi-purpose room in a way only jazz can do. The next song they played was called Autumn Leaves that had a more groovy, yet soft melody.

It lulled the audience into a sleepy security and then shocked them back awake by noding with Mercy Mercy Mercy, which a was pizzazz- type jazz. The piece was very upbeat and pleasant to listen to.

After a 10 minute intermission, the MU Jazz ensemble took to the stage once again and performed three last songs. These were East Avenue stroll, a feel-good jazz song, Night Owl, a relaxing and moving jazz song. The ensemble closing the program with Blowtorch, a song that seemed like the beat itself was on fire.

Solos were performed by Steve Hannaford, Nate Petley, Ben Young, Josh Marti, Marc Campolongo, Jon Mayowell, Dominic Billett, Nathan Sheffer, John Maurer, John Salvastinuk and Geoff Lang. Each performer brought something new to the show and the solos were very well played.

“I always come to listen to jazz it is always so great to relax and to take your mind off school work. They did it justice. Just that combination of fast dance rhythm and calm melodies that really represent jazz and they nailed it,” said Christen Reimbold.

I have never really paid too much attention to jazz music. Yet after going to this and hearing this music I now have a new respect for this music genre. The Jazz Ensemble and Shefftet have done a spectacular job in showing off the qualities that represent jazz. To dance, relax and to have an all around good time.