(COVINGTON, La.) — The St. Paul’s music department is one of the most active departments on campus, serving as home to many groups for Wolves with an interest in music. One of the most unique ensembles in the department is the Jazz Band, and they have been performing funk, jazz, and Latin tunes for over 20 years.
“The (Jazz) Band is definitely progressing,” said the band’s director Jimmy Brinkman. “There’s a lot of opportunities that haven’t been around for us in the past that have been created this year.”
Brinkman says that this year’s lineup is one of the best that he has seen in the six years that he has been director.
“The boys are working hard and doing what they need to do,” Brinkman said. “Every year is a new challenge, because there’s a lot of musicians that leave, and there’s a lot of new musicians that are thrown into the fire with jazz. I think the band has progressed overall in musicality, and the community has taken notice.”
This attention has allowed the band to flourish. Among the new opportunities for the band is the ability to play with the World War II Museum’s Victory Big Band at this week’s Celebrity Waiters event, and more gig offers.
“These are opportunities that we just haven’t had in the past,” Brinkman said. “We’re trying to create (new opportunities) this year.”
Brinkman thinks that being able to play with the Victory Big Band at the Celebrity Waiters school fundraising event on Thursday, March 5, 2015, will allow the band to take away many beneficial lessons that Brinkman himself has tried to instill by bringing in other professionals to the band’s practice.
“For a musician to become a better musician, it’s good for them to see real musicians on a gig playing,” Brinkman said. “It sets things into perspective.”
According to Brinkman, the band’s future is bright and he looks forward to continue to give students opportunities to participate and succeed in jazz musicianship.
“What we’re laying right now is the foundation of our future,” Brinkman said. “We’re trying to create a band that gives to the community. I want us to be expected to play around the community, and a part of music (culture) around here. That’s my main goal as an educator: to give (the guys) opportunities that they wouldn’t regularly have.”