Texas Wesleyan Department of Music presented a night of jazz on Thursday at Nicholas Martin Hall.

The jazz ensemble consisted of a variety of instrumentalists and a vocalist, accompanied by two guest professionals. Daniel Porter, guest pianist, and Joseph Carpenter, guest percussionist, accompanied Wesleyan students Kristen Carlini, vocalist; Evan Piland and Alexander Santiago, trumpet; Alex Valdovinos, tenor saxophone; and Jaron Porter, string bass.

The ensemble was led by the director Lou Carfa, adjunct music instructor.

Carfa said he thought the concert turned out “fantastic.”

“These guys did a great job, they had a lot of music to learn and you know jazz is not about playing every note perfect, it’s about feel, it’s about attitude, and it’s really about camaraderie and the radar between all these guys and having a really good time,” Carfa said.

Carfa was thankful that the jazz ensemble was accompanied by two professionals.

“These guys was a thrill for them to get to play with guys like Joseph Carpenter and Daniel Porter,” Carfa said. “Just a thrill for them to get to play jazz like that; they don’t get to play that all the time.”

The concert included 11 classic jazz pieces, starting with “Cats and Kittens” by Peter Erskine and ending with “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” by Duke Ellington.

Michael Nguyen, a sophomore music education major, attended the concert for the love of jazz and to support his friends within the ensemble.

“I love jazz, it’s a concert I can get credit for, and I wanted to see my friends perform,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen’s favorite piece from the concert was the first piece performed, “Cats and Kittens.”

“I wasn’t expecting it to be this good, low-key, but then I was very very pleasantly surprised,” Nguyen said.

Alisha Sharp, a sophomore music education major, attended the concert for her love of jazz.

“I’ve always really loved jazz,” Sharp said. “My dad actually use to go to UNT (University of North Texas) and so I think that’s where my love for jazz started.”

Sharp also attended the concert to support her friend in the ensemble, vocalist Kristen Carlini.

She said that her favorite piece was the last piece performed, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”

“I think I sang that song before, not in this kind of setting but I really love that song,” Sharp said.

Sharp thought the concert “turned out really great.”

“I do wish we had more members within the ensemble from Wesleyan but that just happens, depends on the year,” Sharp said. “I think everyone did a really great job and the turnout is a pretty good size crowd.”

Kristen Carlini sings “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” at the end of Thursday night’s jazz concert.
Photo by Jacinda Chan