Big Band Bash Brings Jazz to the Masses

By Scott Unverzagt in A&E

“The band this year is so good, that everything I throw at them they were eating up and spitting out,” said Clark Jazz Ensemble Director Richard Inouye.

The Fourth Annual Big Band Bash has Inouye and the Clark jazz ensemble expecting a large crowd in Gaiser Hall on June 6 at 7 p.m.11150363_10205375107608742_4630488399455253093_n

The Beacock Music Swing Band, directed by Cary Pederson, and the Clackamas Community College Jazz Ensemble, directed by Lars Campbell will accompany Clark’s jazz band this year.

“My vision of the Big Band Bash was to kind of present a laid back community event where it’s not about the competition,” Inouye said.

He hopes that the bands have fun and not focus on competition. Clark’s jazz ensemble has been practicing new songs since the 53rd Annual Jazz Festival in January.

According to saxophone player Anna James, this event will be the “grand culmination of our year,” including a diverse range of jazz and a good variety of songs for all to enjoy.

Everyone has had a chance to play a solo and get prepared to display their talents on an illuminated stage in front of a jazz-hungry crowd, explained James.

“We’ve had these charts (sheet music) for awhile, just haven’t practiced with them until now,” said Hayden Lilak, the bass player for the Clark Jazz Band.

Inouye said he hopes that Clark students and faculty will come and enjoy the music.

The Beacock Swing Band always brings a big crowd, said Inouye. “How many chances is the community of Vancouver going to hear three big jazz bands perform in one night for free?”

“It’s very important for the younger generation to know jazz because it’s America’s only indigenous art form,” Inouye said.

Lilak added, “Jazz is one of the better musics out there when it comes to sheer talent and having fun.”

Inouye said he couldn’t be happier to direct the band. “I’m proud to be in front of them. It’s been a good year.”

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