Music performed by the Brown Jazz Band accompanied by world-renowned saxophonist Rick Margitza filled Salomon 101 Saturday night for the fourteenth annual concert in memory of Daniel Milano ’93, a former Jazz Band member.
The audience, which included students, parents and members of the community, looked lively as the 18 Jazz Band members took the stage. After the band played a few pieces, the conductor Matthew McGarrell, senior lecturer in music, introduced Margitza. Margitza has established his fame as a saxophonist, recording with Miles Davis and Tony Williams, among others.
The band prepared for the concert for a month, but only met Margitza for the first time Saturday night. Prior to the concert, the members seemed eager for this meeting. Jamie Fried ’14 said he was “ridiculously excited” to play with such a famous musician. But he was “a little nervous” because they had not rehearsed with him until a few hours before the concert began, and the band would have a lot to figure out in that time.
The lack of rehearsal was unnoticeable. The band expertly played four of Margitza’s compositions along with some other charts. Fried also debuted his latest composition “Sketches of Something.”
“Jamie has premiered a few of his compositions with the band before, and they’re always incredible,” said Dan Rome ’13, a member of the band. “I hope the audience will appreciate his immense level of talent both behind the kit and as a composer.”
Three of the charts by Margitza required two flutists – an instrument previously played by only one band member, Jeff Herman ’12. Rome had to learn the flute in three weeks with the help of Herman and managed to give an impressive performance.
The concert closed with a bang, as the band and Margitza played “Brace Yourself,” a high-energy arrangement that highlighted the musicians’ skills.
“It’s great to see that Brown students have an opportunity to perform with professional musicians. The level of the skill in the Jazz Band is consistently impressive, and the original composition from Jamie Fried was fantastic,” said Caroline Seyler ’15, an audience member, after the show.