BYU Jazz Group Synthesis Headlines a Week of Streamed Jazz Performances

Program will include compositions by director Kristen Bromley

Livestream performance is November 4 at 7:30 p.m.

As the days shorten and the winter weather creeps in, live jazz music is just the thing to liven up your chilly November evenings.

Synthesis, BYU’s award-winning jazz ensemble, will present a live virtual performance with a rousing lineup of jazz hits. With director Ray Smith on sabbatical, distinguished performer and composer Kristen R. Bromley will direct the group known for its seamless blend of swing, blues, jazz, Latin and fusion musical styles. 

“We’ve been working hard and doing our best to prepare around the various challenges imposed by COVID-19,” Bromley said. “Perhaps in reaction to all the pent up energy from the pandemic, we will be playing some great blues charts.”

“I love the energy we get from interacting musically with each other and playing as a cohesive unit,” said alto saxophone player Amaya Longshore. “Everything in jazz is a conversation. It helps us connect more personally with the audience and fosters a sense of camaraderie within the band.”

The program will include “Saturday Morning Blues” by Mike Tomaro, “More Blues” and the “Abscessed Tooth” by Matt Catingub, and “Say it Again,” a piece written by Bromley herself. 

Other surprises in store range from blues and high energy swing music to a mix of classics by Chick Correa and Gordon Goodwin — plus a bonus selection of Bromley’s own compositions. 

Due to necessary safety precautions, students and faculty have found creative solutions to continue making music. “We’ve been rehearsing with a larger spread to our normal setup, to do our best to maintain social distancing while playing,” Bromley said. “When players are in quarantine, they participate via Zoom. This is tricky as we can’t hear them playing and we’re missing the sound of their parts, but it’s the best we can do with the circumstances at hand.”

Bass player Jens Watts has discovered a sense of community within the group. “I love being in Synthesis because I get to play with so many others that love jazz at a time when it’s often underappreciated,” he said.

“I really enjoy the common interest we have not only in jazz, but wanting to help others through the music we play,” said trumpet player Bryant Jordan. “We actively seek to help, heal and bless others through the Spirit and through our music.”

“The concert will be a true delight,” Bromley said. “Even though our audience won’t be in the concert hall with us, we are really looking forward to performing a stellar show for them via livestream.”

Don’t miss the additional streamed jazz performances all week long:

  • 11/3 Jazz Combo Night
  • 11/5 Jazz Lab Band 
  • 11/6 Syncopation + faculty jazz group Groove Axis
  • 11/7 Jazz Legacy Band