The Otsego Jazz Ensemble sincerely hopes and prays that all our fans are well during these strange times.
The OJE will perform a collective sigh of relief in E-flat (the jazz version, of course) when we can finally, safely, return to our Thursday night practices and 2020 gig schedule!
So far this year we’ve canceled four gigs due to Covid-19: our yearly Senior Prom Dance at WMU, a semi-annual concert at Otsego High School, our yearly appearance at the Thornapple Arts Council Jazz Festival, and finally our second year in a row Jazz Concert at First Presbyterian in Kalamazoo. A semi-annual July Plainwell Bandshell concert has been canceled, but talks are ongoing about featuring the OJE at a concert this Summer at the bandshell, possibly on July 15.
Highlights from 2019 include a great concert last year at the South Haven Jazz Festival with guest artists Edye Evans Hyde on vocal, Michael Hyde on guitar, Derek Brown on Tenor sax performing two original compositions of his, and a surprise last minute guest appearance of vocalist Wayne Powers to wrap up the gig. The OJE also had memorable concert and dance performances at the South Haven waterfront, Elk’s Club in Otsego, Arpeggio’s in Otsego, WMU Senior Dance, and the Hastings Jazz Festival.
You can find a few recordings of last year’s performances, just search for “2019”: OJE library and sound samples.
Please see our event calendar for updates, especially to track the date for a performance at the Plainwell Bandshell: https://oje.nu/events/.
Here are some charts with actual sound clips from practice that the OJE worked on at one of our last practice sessions at the Otsego Elks, February 27, 2020, before taking a coronavirus break:
Cold Duck Time (fairly new chart)
Me and my Shadow
Sway (new chart this day) – Lana Hoffman on vocal
We’ll get It (recent new chart, OJE never performed it)
Stay well, everyone! “Otsego Jazz Ensemble Return to Action after Covid-19” is almost like a call to action, to get this band rolling again.