Tuesday nights just got jazzier

By Katie Finlon

Come on in. Sit back, relax and listen to some smooth jazz.

The Sam Hight Sextet will host jam sessions at 8 p.m. every Tuesday in the Holmes Student Center Diversions Lounge. The only day the sextet will not perform is Sept. 25.

The band begins the session with a specific song set. Following a 15-minute break, a jam session is open to anyone who wants to play with the band.

The sextet’s personnel includes Sam Hight, senior music performance and psychology major, on tenor saxophone; Robert Cooper, senior jazz studies major, on trumpet; Jaron McCarr, graduate jazz studies major, on trombone; junior music education and jazz performance major Randiss Hopkins on piano, sophomore jazz studies major Brian Quinlan on guitar, sophomore percussion performance major Christopher Di Bernardo on drums and graduate jazz studies student Max Johnk on bass.

“It means a lot to me to see people come out,” Hight said. “They just want to come spend time with the rest of the community.”

The good news is the event will have free music, Hight said. The band is currently looking for Student Association groups with which to collaborate.

“We have the time and commitment and the desire to get people together,” Hight said.

The sextet performed for Dennis Quaid, Zac Efron and the rest of the cast and crew of At Any Price, a movie shot in DeKalb last fall, Hight said.

Along with wanting to serve the community, jazz overall is so full of emotion, and the band projects that pretty well, said Chris Johnson, an alumni with a master’s degree in music and jazz studies.

“They’re capturing the spirit of the blues, and that’s a spirit of happiness and sadness at the same time,” Johnson said. “I think they captured it pretty well.”

Hight made one thing clear: Despite the name, it’s not about him. It’s about the band.

“That’s always good for jazz,” Johnson said. “It’s not about the individual, it’s about the overall group, and I think they had that pretty down.”