Story by Jacob Sorenson
Wedsnesday, Jan. 27, BYU-Idaho students were treated to an evening of music and performance in the form of a live jazz concert by the group, Out of Nowhere.
Tucked away in the Little Theatre on the third floor of the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center, more than 100 students gathered to enjoy a 90-minute show put on by this skilled quintet of musicians.
This ensemble is not just another group visiting campus for the evening. No, these students are gathered to listen to a group that is comprised of members of the BYU-I faculty.
Despite teaching a full schedule of classes, these professors insist on making time to put on performances like these regularly, and that effort is not lost on their students.
“I was amazed at how talented they were and how much they enjoyed playing jazz,” said Kerry Burnett, a freshman studying music. “It’s just great that they wanted to share that with others.”
The dedication of these five men goes deeper than these students probably realize. Starting at 4:30 p.m., the band was set up and beginning a final rehearsal before the show. Instruments were tuned and sound system checks were in process as the five-man combo practiced their interweaving rhythms and improvised solos.
In the little time they had between rehearsing and performing, Mark Watkins, Director of Jazz Studies at BYU-I and director of this faculty jazz quintet, said they find time to play together because they want to set an example to their students and inspire them, and it seems they have, at least for Senior James Densley who is studying music education.
“Watching them play a couple years ago was when I decided I wanted to start studying jazz music and being a jazz drummer,” Densley said. “It was a life changing event seeing them play. They’re really good.”
Along with entertainment and inspiration, the jazz combo sent the audience home with a free copy of their most recent CD, inviting students up to the stage after the final number to continue the teaching that had started in the classroom.