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In response to the cancellation of residential activities at University Park, we have developed a jazz concert review assignment that can be completed from remote locations. From the Jazz Concert Review Performances list, select one of the video-recorded live jazz performances to “attend” and review.
Write your paper as though you are “attending” a live jazz performance. But instead of describing only the recorded venue, feel free to describe your experience “watching” the selected video-recorded live jazz performance. Try to “join” the live audience as you watch, but also feel free to describe your experience, wherever you are, watching remotely, because of these most extraordinary global circumstances.
We welcome your honest descriptions of your experience.
The Jazz Concert Review assignment should be approximately 500 – 600 words. The assignment can be turned in as soon as you have completed it, and we recommend that you write your concert review shortly after having attended the performance.
Assignment Directions:
You have considerable liberty as to what you write about. Your paper, though, must address the following:
1) Your experience of attending the performance, which can serve as a “frame” for your review. The performance venue, the people you see, the stage—describe these aspects of the experience that take place before the concert itself. Convey to the reader distinctive characteristics of the performance venue and the stage setting, as well as any details of your own personal viewing space that you would like to share.
2) The performance—the performers, the instruments, the music—this is the heart of what you are writing about! Select the piece or pieces that most impressed you. Describe the performance and your response to the music. Highlight individual performers, if that was one of the impressive aspects of the concert. Describe as best you can what you hear and how it affects you.
3) Consider, too, whether you recognize any aspects of jazz or jazz style(s) in the music. Has our study thus far allowed you to perceive aspects of the music that you might not have observed before studying? For example, melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre—blue notes, swing rhythms, syncopations, improvisation—are there aspects of these musical elements that stand out for you that you can describe?
4) Finally, reflect on the value of “attending” a live performance of jazz at such a high level of artistry. Did you enjoy the music? Has the experience changed you in any significant way? Offer a conclusion to your paper that conveys your “take-away” from the experience.
One final suggestion: Write in your own “voice,” and be as expressive as you can. Make this an interesting and enjoyable read! After the reader has read your concert review, if the reader wants to be there with you the next time to share the experience, then you have done a superb job!
Select one of the following video-recorded live jazz performances to “attend” and review:
Herbie Hancock 2008 Newport Jazz Festival

Fourplay 2000 Newport Jazz Festival

New York Jazz Giants 1992 Newport Jazz Festival

Nancy Wilson 1987 Newport Jazz Festival

The Crusaders 1987 Newport Jazz Festival


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