Centre of Dimension Jazz Ensemble

Students in residence at the University Park campus must attend a live jazz concert, selecting from the listed performances occurring between late September and early November.  See the Jazz Concert Review Performances page, immediately below this page, decide on a jazz performance to attend, and purchase your ticket, as needed.  (For students not in residence at the University Park campus, contact your instructor about alternative assignment options.)


The Jazz Concert Review assignment should be approximately 500 – 600 words.  The assignment can be turned in as soon as you have completed it, and we recommend that you write your concert review shortly after having attended the performance.




Assignment Directions:



Important Note:  Read carefully the Lesson 5 page, “Theatre Etiquette.”  Conducting yourself in accordance with these directives is as important as any aspect of this assignment.


Be sure to get a program for the concert, if available, as you enter the performance hall.  The program will provide useful information–and help stimulate your memory–when you turn your attention to writing your concert review.


Do not attempt to take notes during the performance, or between pieces.  If you have paper and pen tucked away in a pocket or purse, you can write notes during the intermission (if there is one).  Otherwise, wait until the concert is concluded before writing about the concert.  The point is not to create any disturbance during the performance itself.

After the performance, as soon as you can, write notes about your experience:  your recollections, impressions, and thoughts relating to the performance, and your experience attending the performance.


You have considerable liberty as to what you write about.  We recommend something like this:


Your experience of attending the performance can serve as a “frame” for your review.  This can most easily be done by writing in “first person.”  (We recommend writing in first person, but that is not a requirement.)  The performance venue, the people you see, the performance hall–briefly describe these aspects of the experience that take place before the concert itself.


The performance–the performers, the instruments, the music–this is the heart of what you are writing about!  Select the piece or pieces that most impressed you.  Describe the performance and your response to the music.  Highlight individual performers, if that was one of the impressive aspects of the concert.  Describe as best you can what you hear and how it affects you.



Consider, too, whether you recognize any aspects of jazz or jazz style(s) in the music.  Has our study thus far allowed you to perceive aspects of the music that you might not have observed before studying?  For example, melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre–blue notes, swing rhythms, syncopations, improvisation–are there aspects of these musical elements that stand out for you that you can describe?


Finally, reflect on the value of attending a live performance of jazz at such a high level of artistry.  Did you enjoy the music?  Has the experience changed you in any significant way?  Offer a conclusion to your paper that conveys your “take-away” from the experience.


One final suggestion:  Write in your own “voice,” and be as expressive as you can.  Make this an interesting and enjoyable read!  After the reader has read your concert review, if the reader wants to be there with you the next time to share the experience, then you have done a superb job!


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