Holly Jolly Jazz Christmas concert and jam session to support new Lee music club
Rounding out the semester with a festive musical celebration, Holly Jolly Jazz will feature live music, spontaneous performance and hot cocoa all in the spirit of the Christmas season.
Holly Jolly Jazz will kick off with the house band performing a set of Christmas songs, including John Coltrane’s “Greensleeves,” a sing-along version of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and more.
The house band consists of a vocalist, two saxophonists, a bassist, a guitarist, a keyboardist and a drummer.
Kirsten Tatum, house band vocalist and lead organizer of Holly Jolly Jazz, said a jam session will follow the house band’s performance to get other musicians in the audience involved.
“The jam session part will mainly feature the house band and the invited jammers in terms of soloing. However, we would love some audience collaboration and jamming,” Tatum said. “We really want this to be a big, fun, communal jam for everyone.”
School of Music Recruitment Coordinator Nick Tomasello was invited to participate in the jam session. Tomasello said the event gives students the opportunity to share their gifts.
“I’m personally excited because the music is going to be great, and this is a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their talents,” Tomasello said. “This is totally student driven, and I’m excited that students are stepping up.”
Holly Jolly Jazz is also meant to spark interest in the Commercial Music Society set to start next semester at Lee, according to house band saxophonist Timothy Ferguson.
Ferguson said this club seeks to expand the Lee community’s musical horizons beyond the traditionally represented genres of music, like contemporary Christian or classical.
“Lee’s community needs a musical outlet that represents the student body while making people aware of other styles of music. When I say ‘commercial music,’ I’m talking about everything from music production and recording arts to exploration of pop, rock, jazz, hip hop and more, which can all be done in a Christian context,” Ferguson said. “We really want to leave something for the next generation of jazz artists and upcoming commercial music artists.”
Jalil Muhammad, the second house band saxophonist, echoed this mission. Muhammad explained that the Commercial Music Society will not only expose people to different music but provide a place for diverse music lovers to commune and discuss their musical passions.
“Our goal is to create an environment where all music is welcome,” Muhammad said. “We want students who have an ear for jazz, hip hop, R&B, pop and soul music to come together and be able to express themselves through music in a righteous way.”
Holly Jolly Jazz will take place on Friday, Dec. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the School of Music Choral Rehearsal Room. Admission is $2, and hot cocoa will be provided.