EAC hosted an exciting day of jazz for students and the public on Friday, October 19th. The day began at noon with a big band concert for 126 student musicians from Alexander, Calais, Eastport and Washington Academy. The band featured 19 talented college musicians under the direction of Dr. Philip Edelman, who talked comfortably with the audience, telling them all about what to listen for in the dynamic program of swing, dance band ballads, classic jumps, funk and more. 

Students from four schools had the midday treat of a big band jazz show. EAC photo.

Following the concert, some of the students from Calais and Eastport were able to hang out in small groups and learn more from the UMO players about their instruments, techniques for improved musicianship and life as a college musician.

Brandon Emerson, a member of UMO’s Big Band Jazz Ensemble from Augusta, cracks flugelhorn jokes as part of the break-out group for horns. Photo by Brandy Argir.

During the break between the two concerts, the college musicians toured Raye’s Mustard Mill, visited downtown Eastport and ate a wonderful homecooked spaghetti meal hosted by EAC. At 6:30, the public concert began, much to the delight of area jazz lovers. A very responsive audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance and were very appreciative to have a chance to listen to live big band music.

“We strongly believe in the power of music and shared experience as a force for good in our community,” Edelman said.  The visit from the UMaine Jazz Ensemble to the area was made possible by a joint grant from the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Humanities Council.