Swing, funk and Latin jazz: Professors’ performance ignites student inspiration

by Thomas Horn, Guest Writer

The Pacific Lutheran University Rengency Jazz Ensemble featured swing, funk and Latin styles of jazz during the concert in Lagerquist Concert Hall on Sept. 18.

The PLU Regency Jazz Ensemble is made up of three musicians — David Deacon-Joyner, Clipper Anderson and Mark Ivester.

All three of them teach private jazz studies at PLU.  Deacon-Joyner is also the University Jazz Ensemble’s professor.

Deacon-Joyner performed on piano, Anderson played the bass — both electric and acoustic — while Ivester provided the beat on the drums.

“My favorite part of teaching is once they’ve [students] started listening to jazz, you get to see them grow,” Deacon-Joyner said.

This year marks Deacon-Joyner’s 13th year teaching at PLU.

Deacon-Joyner said he has played with Anderson off and on since 2000, but Anderson and Ivester have played for 30 years together.

“They [Anderson and Ivester] work a lot together. I just grab the bumper and hang on,” Deacon-Joyner said.

Ivester started teaching private drum lessons at PLU two years ago.

“I listened to old jazz records when I was young and focused in on the drums,” Ivester said. “My parents weren’t jazz fans but once I started playing in my high school jazz band, I was inspired.”

Ivester said he wanted to pursue his passion for music and got involved with jazz drumming — it’s now his career.

After the concert, some of the audience members came up to the stage and personally thanked the musicians for the concert.

“I liked when they played between styles,” first-year Clay Snell said. “It kept the show going.”

Throughout the nine songs played, the sub-genres of swing, funk and Latin were present.

A solo incorporated in every song with every instrument, the performance displayed a high level of confidence.

“It was cool how they listened to one another and were able to play off each other’s ideas,” Snell said. 🅼

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