Day of Jazz to Rev Up Eastport Music Students’ Semester

Eastport students will spend a day of learning all about the culture of jazz on Friday, October 7 through Eastport Arts Center, which has received a $1,000 Arts and Humanities grant award titled “Improvisation Plus: Jazzing It Up In Eastport” from the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Humanities Council. The University of Maine at Orono’s Jazz Sextet with director Dr. Dan Barrett will spend the day in the schools and conclude their visit with a concert open to the public that evening at 7 pm at the EAC. The evening performance will feature one piece that combines the UMO students with the award-winning Shead High School Jazz Combo.

Daytime activities will include a morning concert for grades 5-12, followed by morning master classes for elementary band students and an afternoon master class with the Shead Jazz Combo. The afternoon session will be focused on the many techniques of improvisation, and will include learning a song to be performed by Sextet and Combo for that evening’s concert. 

Eastport music teacher Robert Sánchez is thrilled about the collaboration. “I love the idea of our younger students seeing that there is a an option for the continuation of musical endeavors past high school. I am also very interested in seeing the communication between the UMO students and the Eastport students, both verbal and the non-verbal expression through music.”

UMO Jazz Sextet band members are Kyle Jordan, saxes; Nick Turner, trumpet; Amanda Bloss, trombone; Ben Flanagan, bass; Michael Caliandro, drums; and Dan Barrett, piano. The concert will include music by Antti Rissanen, Pat Metheny, Sonny Rollins, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and many others. Dr. Dan Barrett received his B.A. and M.A. at Brigham Young University and his D.M.A. from Arizona State University.  He has performed statewide in various jazz ensembles, and also with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and Boston Brass.  He has been a national finalist in the Music Teachers National Association brass solo and chamber music competitions.  

Admission to the evening concert is free for attendees 17 and under and by donation for adults. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and and is handicapped-accessible.