Maybe this Tiny Desk Concert series can help modify people’s preconceptions about The Juilliard School and jazz. Tiny Desk Concerts and Jazz Night in America are hosting three concerts featuring current students and alums of Juilliard Jazz to commemorate the school’s 20th anniversary.
The wide-eyed members of the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble halted in their tracks when they laid eyes on the Tiny Desk. After all, many of their heroes had previously graced the Tiny Desk, and here they were, eager to make their mark and continue the tradition of great jazz.
You can also read about the concluding concert of the Juilliard Jazz’s 20th-anniversary series, Isaiah J. Thompson’s Tiny Desk concert.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the jazz studies department, the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble performed at the Tiny Desk. The ensemble, which consists entirely of current students, perfectly captures the spirit of community and collaboration that plays an integral role in the educational process.
The band sets the mood by opening with Coby Petricone-mesmerizing Berg’s “June” on alto saxophone. Despite their young ages, we quickly realize that this group is not to be underestimated. We must give credit where credit is due: John Sturino on drums, Nico Martinez on bass, and Esteban Castro on piano keep things relaxed in the background while clearing a road for the horns (Jasim Perales on soulful trombone) to blaze. A+ musicianship, with everyone paying attention and lending a helping hand.
Ekep Nkwelle plays an arrangement of “Timeless Portraits and Dreams” by Geri Allen as the last piece. Her powerful vocals highlight this reflective ballad, which serves as a fitting finale for the ensemble by giving everyone a chance to shine as they sing of their shared desire for a future where “joy and love run free” and “let’s cling on to our dreams.”
- “June” (Coby Petricone-Berg)
- “Timeless Portraits and Dreams” (Geri Allen, arr. Ekep Nkwelle)
- Ekep Nkwelle: vocals
- Coby Petricone-Berg: alto saxophone
- Jasim Perales: trombone
- Esteban Castro: piano
- Nico Martinez: bass
- John Sturino: drums
TINY DESK TEAM
- Producer: Nikki Birch
- Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
- Director: Kara Frame
- Creative Director: Bob Boilen
- Series Producer: Bobby Carter
- Editor: Michael Zamora
- Videographers: Kara Frame, Pierre Kattar, Michael Zamora
- Audio Assistant: Jospehine Nyounai
- Production Assistants: Jill Britton, Joby Tanseco, Alanté Serene
- Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Maia Stern
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