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Great Arts at Eastern talks with Saxophonist Adriana Mundy about her part in ENMU's Jazzfest

GENTRY:  And now Great Arts at Eastern, from the Portales campus of Eastern New Mexico University. I'm Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, your Public Radio Network. Today my guest is student Adriana Mundy of Eastern's Department of music. Adriana, thank you for joining us today.

MUNDY:  Thank you very much for having me.

GENTRY:  So Jazzfest takes place tomorrow and Saturday. What is your role in Friday evening's concert?

MUNDY:  Yes, so me and a couple of other students are going to be playing two songs to open up for the ENMU faculty and guest quintet. We're going to be playing Autumn Leaves and All the Things You Are.

GENTRY:  Great, and you mentioned to me earlier today that you're going to be using lead sheets. Does that mean that there's room for improvisation?

MUNDY:  Yes, we're going to be using those lead sheets of Autumn Leaves and All the Things You Are that have chord changes on him, and we're going to use those to improvise during our solos.

GENTRY:  That's really fascinating a great thing that we get with jazz. So, we also get to see a professional quintet led by Richard Schwartz. have you got to hear them?

MUNDY:  Unfortunately, No. I wish that I have, but I'm excited to hear them on Friday.

GENTRY:  Excellent So what musical selections you mentioned, Autumn Leaves and All the Things You Are. What else is in your repertoire that you're working on this semester?

MUNDY:  Um, personally, I just performed today for the SRCC of a jazz piece called Saxophobia by Rudy Wiedoeft. And that includes kind of some jazz articulations and some other fun things that usually here in jazz. But I usually work on classical music. I've recently worked on classical pieces.

GENTRY:  Great, so that demonstrates range. So, you mentioned the student research and creativity conference, and you presented this week there. Tell me a little bit about your experience with that.

MUNDY:  So, I had a lot of fun performing for that. I did research on this exponent composer Rudy Wiedoeft and why he was influential to jazz and saxophone. And I played one of his most famous pieces, Saxophobia, which, like I said, includes many fun, jazzy different types of articulations.

GENTRY:  Right, and some of those articulations you mentioned are slap-tonguing and double-tonguing. Now you don't have your saxophone with you. But can you describe for a person with words what slap tonguing is?

MUNDY:  Yes. So, slap-tonguing you can hear it in either contemporary classical or sometimes jazz music. And it's a very fun technique that is where you basically use your tongue to kind of slap the reed. It's difficult to grasp at first. But you're kind of just using your tongue to suction. And you're aggressively lowering your jaw at the same time, so it gives us a slapping sound. And it's a very nice it as a progressive effect to the saxophone, which is really neat.

GENTRY:  Great, and we off did he create the idea of laughing with the saxophone?

MUNDY:  I believe he did. I'm not sure if there are others who did it before him? He included a lot of laughter in some of his pieces. Which is one of the reasons why he became so famous. It was because of those odd but also neat techniques that he used at the time.

GENTRY:  Right, I think I've heard that in cartoons, you know, with the soundtrack going that way. Well, nobody could have done much of that before him. Right because the saxophone was a relatively new instrument.

MUNDY:  Yes, I believe that he revolutionized it because it was so new at the time, and it wasn't really considered an orchestral instrument. And even in early jazz, it was just very new. And so he popularized it with all of his neat techniques that he could do.

GENTRY:  So, this is a big week for Adriana Mundy. She's got the student research and creativity conference that she's presented at already this week, and then we have Jazzfest. Adriana, how can our listeners take in the concert tomorrow at 7:00 o'clock.

MUNDY:  So, it'll be premiering on live stream on the ENMU YouTube channel. And you just type in and YouTube ENMU Department of Music, and it'll be live at 7:00 PM.

GENTRY:  Right, and then it will be archived immediately, right. So, if folks can't attend right at that time, they can still listen. So Jazzfest features a streamed concert at 7:00 PM tomorrow, April 9th. You can watch and listen at enmu.edu/MusicPerformances. Or, as Adriana said, go to YouTube and simply type in ENMU Department of music. all the Great Arts at Eastern can be found in our calendar at enmu.edu/FineArtsEvents. I'm Jeff Gentry. Thanks, everyone for listening on KENW, your Public Radio Network.

ENMU Jazzfest

Faculty and Guest Quintet

Coordinated by Richard Schwartz

Friday, April 9, 2021 | 7 p.m.

enmu.edu/MusicPerformances

Richard Schwartz - saxophone

Sidney Shuler - trumpet

Miles Massicotte - piano

Terry Burns - upright bass

Neil Rutland - drum set