Concordia music students premiered an original production titled “Bring ‘Em Back!” at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall last Wednesday evening. Under the direction of Professor Jeri Brown, students sang, danced, acted and performed a variety of music pieces inspired from the jazz sounds of the 1940s.
“It took Canadian musician Ron Paley 20 years to write this musical,” announced Brown at the beginning of the show. “We want to give you a small taste of what he accomplished.”
With a minimum amount of props, the students from the Jazz Repertoire class used song and dance to tell the story of Chase Logan, a guest musician at a radio show who puts together a time travel device and invites the two hosts to take a voyage with him to the 1940s. During their journey, they discover the big bands and the joys of jazz music. When Chase (played by Chris Neale) falls in love with Destiny Fate (played by Emily C. Forsyth), he decides to bring both her and the big bands back to his time zone.
For the second part of the show, the atmosphere revved up as Chase and Destiny brought jazz back into the modern world by mixing the classic jazz sound with more recent types of music such as hip-hop, salsa and contemporary.
The dancers flew across the stage, and the voices were powerful and strong as the performers attempted to show the audience that “jazz is what you want it to be.”
The ConChords, Concordia’s very own jazz choir, was also part of the show. They opened both the first and second acts, as well as entertained the audience during the intermission with a variety of song pieces ranging from jazz and gospel to funk and soul.
“It was such a great experience for everyone,” breathed Sabine Dieudonn