Renowned trumpeter collaborates in concert with jazz bands

By Annika Prom, Lifestyle Editor

Professional trumpet player Terell Stafford led a clinic with the three jazz bands, later joining them for a concert on Monday.

Stafford is currently the Program Director of Jazz Studies at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University.

Jazz Ensemble 2 (Jazz 2) started off the concert with “So Easy” and “Moten Swing.” Stafford brought in his trumpet to participate in “Sky Dive.”

After Jazz 2 finished their set, band director Darin Faul joked onstage about the audience getting their money’s worth to attend the concert. Jazz 1 then performed “On the Sunny Side of the Street” which featured the trombone section, and followed with “Such Sweet Thunder.”

Faul proudly announced Jazz 1’s results from the 22nd Annual Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival in New York.

At Essentially Ellington, the Jazz 1 brass section received an honorable mention. Junior Gian Neri received an award for outstanding guitar while senior Dylon Rajah received an award for outstanding tenor saxophone. Senior Andrew Sumabat earned “The Tripler” award for his skill in trumpet, trombone and tenor saxophone.

Stafford collaborated with Jazz 1 to put on a performance of “Stay On It.” Multiple students soloed but toward the end, Stafford and Sumabat alternated between solos, later playing together and hugging one another onstage during the song.

Stafford and his band went onstage for their last performance together on their tour. They were joined by professional saxophonist Mark Taylor who frequently works with the MTHS jazz bands. The band also consisted of Dawn Clement on piano, Julian MacDonough on drums, Michael Glynn on bass and Steve Kaldestad on saxophone.

They began with a powerful song that showed off the band’s skills to the audience. Stafford followed up afterward by demanding more applause for the jazz ensembles that performed earlier.

Each member of Stafford’s band had a chance to solo in this next piece, which Stafford described as having a special “place in his heart.”

Stafford recalled a fellow musician who reached out to him and encouraged him to expand his musical experience. Stafford also explained an early experience with this friend when he called Stafford while he had pneumonia and asked him to go to Japan. He hung up thinking it was a joke, but his friend called back and the two have been close since.

However, the band performed “Twilight Mist” as a tribute for that friend, who passed away earlier that morning. The song was mainly led by Stafford and featured a piano solo by Clement.

Stafford then lifted the mood by asking the audience to show some love for the band members and for Taylor, who sight-read all of the music that night. MacDonough led into the fourth song with a drum solo.

The band then opened the final song to any band members who wanted to solo. Upon telling them it was a 13/8 count blues song, senior Nathan Reeber began to walk off stage, causing Stafford to laugh. Junior Gian Neri faced a few difficulties setting up his guitar and Stafford joked about why playing a wind instrument is better.

After each student soloed, the rest of Stafford’s band took on their own solo and ended the concert with each person playing the tune altogether.

Kaldestad’s favorite part of the finale was hearing the students sit in on the song because they left him “super impressed.”

“I’d say what went really well was the fact that Terell had worked with the students in the afternoon and the show ended with them sitting in, so it was showing that we’re all in this together, we’re a team,” Kaldestad said.

Particularly, Kaldestad had an eye for junior bassist Sophie Parsons and sophomore drummer Kieran Faris because they played hand in hand with each other and “have great swing.”

“I hope they learned Terell’s message about how jazz is all about community,” he said. “I would just say continue working on what they’re already working on because it sounds like they’re doing everything right.”

Once the concert ended, Stafford signed copies of his “BrotherLee Love” album that were up for sale by the theater.