The Oberlin Jazz Septet Embarks on Winter Term Tour
Jan. 22, 2007
By Jesse Hernandez
Once again, the Oberlin Jazz Septet (OJS) is bringing its music to audiences beyond Ohio’s borders. The student ensemble embarked upon its annual winter-term tour on January 20, beginning a schedule that includes nine performances in 13 days.
This year’s tour includes stops in both California and Michigan, with performances at Hertz Hall on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco’s Savanna Jazz club, the Detroit School of Arts, and Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to name a few. The schedule can be taxing—some days involve multiple events—but the ensemble’s members are well trained in the professionalism required to be a touring musician. They have practiced and performed together diligently since each member was selected to join the group in late August. That hard work has already paid off—the OJS was showcased this fall at the Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival and on Applause, the WVIZ-ideastream (Cleveland Public Television) arts and culture program.
The tour has allowed the OJS members and their student manager, Graham Johnson, to learn some of the ins and outs of the business side of music. The group worked together to assemble press kits, contact venues and schools for concerts, help create an OJS web site, and handle many of the tour logistics.
“This has been a great way to get firsthand experience managing a touring group with the support of the College,” said Johnson, who also serves as tour manager. “Oberlin has been great giving us real independence. Our focus is on making this not only a learning experience for the group but also a vehicle for student recruitment and fundraising.”
The OJS’ concert schedule continues into the spring, with performances planned for April. For more information on the group, including a concert calendar and audio of the OJS through the ages, visit the Oberlin Jazz Septet web site.