Last Thursday, Feb. 19, the TU Jazz bands hosted their first big concert of the semester. They were joined by world class trumpeter and composer Walter White. Several of White’s compositions were played by the bands. None of them had anything to do with meth, unfortunately.
The atmosphere was relaxed as TU’s Big Band II opened the show with the crowd-pleasing Pink Panther Theme. Mr. White came out to play with Big Band II and blew the audience away (pun intended) with perfect control of his trumpet that melded seamlessly with the rest of the band.
White was musical from a young age but settled on the trumpet by age nine. He practiced his art at institutions such as Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Juilliard School, The University of Miami and the Banff Center. In the early 90s he toured and recorded with his boyhood idol Maynard Ferguson.
Big Band I strutted out onto the stage and proceeded to rock the audience, with absolutely breathtaking vocal accompaniment by Sarah Maud. Brilliant solos by the musicians were met with cheers and applause from the crowd. White joined the band once again, playing many of his own compositions. He would perfectly hit notes I previously thought to be beyond the range of a trumpet.
After the performance vocalist Sarah Mard stated that singing with White is “always really fun,” and that his personal interaction with the band makes him “more than just a stranger” to the student musicians. Drew Crane, a pianist in Big Band I, said, “At least he wasn’t cooking meth,” and on a more serious note that “it’s really awesome working with the high-class musicians that TU brings in.”
The next TU Jazz Concert will be held on Thursday, April 23. For more information on Walter White, and to purchase his newest album “Breaking Good” visit walterwhite.com.