Trust in the band, trust in the instruments, trust that the music will have a moving effect for the listeners. Trust that other members will work with the different changes that another member puts out. This is the type of trust that the Grouptet members said they have in each other.
Aaron Miller and Ryan Nielsen, both professors at BYU-Idaho, helped create the jazz band Grouptet. Miller and Nielsen were first introduced to each other through a mentor and played together in Twin Falls, Idaho, while growing up.
Kobie Watkins, the leader of the band and a renowned drummer, came to BYU-I to teach students the drum.
Miller and Neilson would play together while he was on campus and Nielsen said it was like magic.
Watkins continued to come back to play with Miller and Neilson. This eventually led them to form a jazz band.
The jazz band has five members, including Justin Nielsen on piano, Jonathan Armstrong playing saxophone, Aaron Miller playing bass, Ryan Nielsen playing trumpet and Kobie Watkins playing drums and percussion.
This group is unified by their sound and their willingness to follow and adapt to each other as they are playing.
“In this setting, when we go out to play, my main goal is to be open to the suggestions that the music offers and that my colleges offer at the moment that it is happening,” Miller said.
The group first went out together about two years ago for a performance in Boise, Idaho, and now has a record coming out. The hard copies will hit the shelves on June 15, but the digital album can now be found on iTunes.
The name of the album is Movement. The group wanted the songs to be more than sounds and sound effects but to be about the reaction of the person who is listening and dancing. The album was recorded in room 181 in the Eliza R. Snow Building. All ten songs are originals with one composed by Miller.
“The department is really supportive, and the college has been really supportive,” Miller said. “The fact that we have this here is a really unique and special thing.”
Nielsen said dance was very much a part of the group and that there is a trust that the rest of the members will support each other in how they express this principle.
More about the band and the songs can be found at kwgmusic.com. This website also contains information about the band and a schedule of when they are performing, as well as a free track download.
According to the website, Grouptet is a surge of musical groove and melody.
Both Miller and Nielsen are hopeful that there will be more albums to come.