On Sept. 16, The Weber State University Office of Cultural Affairs with the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities presented “Civic Jazz” featuring the world-renowned Marcus Roberts Trio along with Greg Clark, author of “Civic Jazz: American Music and Kenneth Burke on the Art of Getting Along.”
Known for its virtuosic style, The Marcus Roberts Trio has its own approach to jazz music, where each member equally shares the direction of the music and can dictate its form at any time.
A sold-out audience watched the group’s performance that focused on equality as it relates to jazz music.
“This experience left me wanting more,” said Weber State University student Juliana Palacio. “It was informative, relaxing and exciting all at once.”
Through conversation amalgamated with bass, piano and drums, a civics lesson was taught. The performance’s purpose served as a reminder to strive for a deeper understanding of one another and that only through listening, learning, compromise, cooperation and sacrifice will peace be achieved.
To prove the importance of collaboration, the trio chaotically demonstrated a rendition of When the Saints Go Marching On, where each musician fought for the spotlight.
A second, redemptive performance of the same song proved that working together is the only way to produce excellence.
As spectators bobbed their heads and tapped their feet the rhythm filled the room. “This experience is medicine for discouragement,” said Greg Clark.
The American University of Paris, the Burlington Jazz Festival in Vermont and Weber State University are the only three locations in the world to have experienced the performance that combines civic lecturing and jazz music.
The Trio dedicated an entire week to teaching masterclasses to undergraduate students at WSU, providing lessons and good humor.