Students exhibit latest work in Jazz Labs


Caption: Two students play the saxophone in USM Jazz Labs, showcasing their musical talents Friday night. Noe Cugny/Printz

On Nov. 13, USM’s Jazz Labs performed two 45-minute sets at The Thirsty Hippo to showcase what they have been preparing
this semester.

David Pellow, a graduate assistant at USM, directed Jazz Lab Two in his debut concert at USM.
“I am really honored,” Pellow said. “These performers have come a long way since the beginning of the year, and I am pleased with how they performed tonight. These are talented young people, feeling the music that they perform. Mississippi truly is the birthplace of America’s music and is keeping music alive.”

Pellow’s directing style was highly animated.
“I’m a bassist by trade, and when that’s in my hand, I can’t really move all that much. So, when I am free, I like to move and really convey the music,” Pellow said.

Senior music education major Maggie Oswald played baritone saxophone in Jazz Lab Two.

“This was a unique opportunity for me,” Oswald said. “I have never played bari sax before, and it has given me a new appreciation of the instrument. Coming from a classical background, jazz has been a good experience.”

“I was pleased with our performance,” said Lawrence Panella, director of Jazz Lab One. “We have a number of new faces in both bands and we have to teach them the stylistic practices of musical genre that most of them never really experience in any great depth in their high school classroom. They came a long way in a short time and I know next semester will be even better.”
Panella also explained why they chose to perform at The Thirsty Hippo instead of
on campus.

“We had a great time last year performing there and it seemed like a great alternative to playing in a cavernous concert hall where we only fill about 250 seats out of more than 900,” he said. “This year we opted to experiment and try all of our performances there. Acoustically, it is a great sounding room and I could even see us recording a live project there.”
For more information about Jazz Lab, contact the School of Music or Lawrence Panella.