Dec 15, 2019

‘Jazz-o-Ween’ to play a variety of jazz

Antonio Henriques & Megan Ginise

Photo courtesy of Fresno State Music Department

Photo courtesy of Fresno State Music Department

Halloween is right around the corner, and in celebration of the occasion, Fresno State’s music department is holding its annual “Jazz-o-Ween” concert on Thursday.

Dr. Alan Durst, Director of Jazz Ensembles and Orchestra; will be carrying on this annual tradition for a sixth year and is looking forward to seeing how his 18-member ensemble of students will perform.

“It’s the first full concert of the year for the band,” Durst said. “It’s great to see them blossom and this is their chance to shine and reap the benefits of hard work.”

Durst also looks forward to showcasing the different styles of jazz and making it a fun-filled event for attendees.

“I like to make the concert more like a survey,” Durst said.  “We’ll play traditional jazz, contemporary, new, old, there’s such a wide-variety of different styles and I try to give people a lot to survey and check out. It’s a lot, as jazz is the only type of music that’s ever been made in the U.S.”

Adam Nalchajian, a junior business major and trumpeter for the ensemble, shares the same excitement for the event and looks forward to playing a variety of jazz pieces.

“We play jazz music varying from Count Basey in the 1920s and 30s to modern pieces written in the last couple years. It’s a lot of fun,” Nalchajian said.

Dr. Durst touched on why the genre can be as interesting today as well as his experience in Fresno State Jazz.

“It’s such an artistic experience, you don’t get to play music in a university environment like this often.  It fuses cultures together and it’s music that can be viewed in an artistic as well as student perspective,” Durst said.

Nalchajian shared similar beliefs regarding all that jazz music has to offer.

“I’ve been playing jazz since seventh grade,” Durst said. Jazz music is a lot of fun because it doesn’t have a lot of the rules and regulations that classical music has.

“When you get the chance to solo in front of people and show your own style, it’s like a fingerprint that is completely unique to each player. It’s fun just to be able to show my stuff, play loud, play fast, a lot of stuff that typical concert music doesn’t have.

“Seeing the students work hard then watching them play and sharing it with people is by far one of the best experiences,” Durst said.

The concert will be held in the concert hall on campus at 8 p.m. For ticket information, visit

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