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UNK hosts jazz trombonist John Fedchock

John Fedchock directs the Jazz Rock Ensemble in “On the Edge,” an upbeat piece that left the audience energized. Dr. Tim Farrell got to join in and play trumpet with the rest of the members as Fedchock stood up front to direct the group.

Loper Music brings in John Fedchock, trombone artist, composer from NYC to play with jazz ensembles
By: Braydon Conell

UNK Jazz Rock Ensemble, one of the many instrumental ensembles at UNK, started late last semester working on a collection of tunes composed and/or arranged by a few various artists. Jazz Rock Ensemble explores a wild selection of musical styles from samba to swing. Eighteen people round out this audition-only ensemble, many of whom are not music majors.

Visiting artist, trombonist John Fedchock

At their most recent concert on Feb. 21, the UNK Music Department brought in world-class trombone soloist, John Fedchock. Charts that the ensemble played from his wide array of pieces included the ballad “Never Let You Go,” the piece – elegantly described as being “produced with a touch of procrastination” – “Brazilian Fantasy” and a piece reminiscent of childhood memories for nearly everyone present in the audience, “Flintstoned.”

In total, six of Fedchock’s pieces were played along with “Pagan Pie” by Chris Merz over the course of  the night’s concert.

Having John Fedchock present for the concert was more notable than just having a guest performer. Fedchock arrived at UNK late Feb. 19, and on Feb. 20, he worked with the ensemble during their normal class time as well as an extra practice that night.

Additionally, Fedchock worked one-on-one with a few students during their lessons. For Dr. Tim Farrell, the ensemble’s director, having Fedchock come work with students was something quite special. “Almost 10 years to the day – on Feb. 28, 2008 – I had Mr. Fedchock work with my students when I was in Colorado.”

Fedchock began his career in jazz over 30 years ago. He graduated from Ohio State University with degrees in music education and jazz studies, and he also holds a master’s degree in jazz studies and contemporary media from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Emerging in 1980, John Fedchock is now an in-demand performer and composer and is a Grammy-nominated arranger. His critically acclaimed John Fedchock New York Big Band has five CDs on the MAMA and Reservoir Music labels that have all received high praise. Fedchock’s name has appeared in DOWNBEAT’s Readers Poll under three categories for consecutive years. T.S. Monk, Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, Louie Bellson Big Band, Bob Belden Ensemble, Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band are a list of Fedchock’s past tour partners. In addition to playing music, Fedchock is also a producer; he  Fedchock is also a trombone artist for XO Professional Brass and exclusively plays XO trombones. He worked with this company to create the XO1632 trombone, a lightweight and balanced instrument that has become an immense success in the music industry.

Fedchock soloed on trombone during his pieces, and members of the Jazz Rock Ensemble performed improvised solos. In total, six members had solos throughout the night. These soloists included: Alyssa Olsen of Lexington, a music education major, on alto saxophone; Cal Switzer of Gretna, a music education major, on trombone; Celia Timms of Adams, an interior design major, on tenor saxophone; Logan Hansen of Kearney, a biochemistry major, on trumpet; Carlos Felipe from Colombia, a music education major, on guitar; and Blaine Fisher of Blair, a music education major, on trumpet.

In addition to the Jazz Rock Ensemble, the Jazz Combo group also performed. Jazz Combo is recently under new leadership this semester, with recently-graduated Seth Dikeman of Ogallala as its new leader. Other members of Jazz Combo include Celia Timms, Logan Hansen and Luis Panduro. Combo performed in the middle of the concert with three shorter tunes by Willie Nelson, Mongo Santamaria and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

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