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Flattening the curve with jazz

Members of the WSU Jazz Big Band perform Flatten that Curve.

The WSU Jazz Big Band isn’t letting the global pandemic get in the way of delivering excellent big band entertainment.

The award-winning group, directed by Regents Professor Greg Yasinitsky, put technology to the test to produce a YouTube video of the aptly titled composition, “Flatten that Curve.”

Apart from the quality of the music, what makes the performance fascinating to watch is the fact that the band members recorded their parts and video individually using whatever technology they had available. Yasinitsky then mixed, mastered and assembled the performance together.

“In difficult times, music is more important than ever and the band and I wanted to create a piece that the ensemble could use to make a musical statement regarding the pandemic,” Yasinitsky said. “I am proud of what the Jazz Big Band achieved with Flatten That Curve and hope that our listeners enjoy it.”

The original idea for the project was suggested by one of the band’s trumpet players, Max Harrington, an MA candidate in the School of Music. Harrington suggested that the band make a recording and video as a way for the band to connect with its listeners. One of the benefits of the project was that it helped the band members learn more about recording remotely, which is how a lot of recordings are currently done in the music industry.

“This was a complicated process. The students and I had to figure out how to do this; there was a steep learning curve,” Yasinitsky said. “We learned a lot in the process and I plan to use what I learned as I work with the band going forward.”

Soloists: Brand Fisher, tenor saxophone; and Gabriella Aragon, trombone. WSU Jazz Big Band—saxophones: Branson Bell, Lucas Blevins, Fisher, James Carter, Bryce Dale; trumpets: Logan Plant, Max Harrington, Daniel Richard; trombones: Aragon, Alex Belcher, Eric Alvarez, Tommy Hill; rhythm: Joel Roeber; Ian Sidley, piano; Joe Ballestrasse, bass; Sean Sidley, drums.

More information about the WSU Jazz Big Bands is available online.

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