A cool breeze flowed out of Amici’s on the night of Sept. 11, carrying not only the savory smells of delicious pizza and crispy wings, but also the rhythms of a drum and the smooth notes of the saxophone.
That’s right, monthly jazz night at Amici’s has returned.
“I’m so excited it’s back,” said GC student Sarah Stallings.
In early September, Chris Enghauser, double bass and jazz improv instructor, picked up the torch originally lit by retired professor Maureen Morgan and reintroduced Jazz Jam at Amici’s.
About 30 people filled the wooden chairs and tables surrounding the instrument-packed stage during the first Jazz Jam in months.
The jam, hosted by Enghauser, featured GC faculty members Don Parker on vibraphone, Enghauser on bass and Nathaniel Gworek on drums. Students Noah Prince and Shaquille Wright played trumpet and saxophone, respectively.
Parker, the vibraphone player, is the chairman of GC’s Music Department. He spoke of the many places his career has taken him, but he has found a place to call home in the Milledgeville community.
Parker said he enjoyed every moment of his first Jazz Jam at Amici’s.
“Jazz is a universal language,” said Parker. “It takes a little bit of effort and a whole lot of heart.”
People of all ages enjoyed drinks and food while bobbing their heads to the smooth Jazz presented by their fellow community members.
Prince brought a great performance with his fast fingers on the trumpet.
“I feel like I can just let loose at this event, be present and not think about the worries of work or school,” Prince said. “It’s a great treat.”
According to the National Museum of American History, jazz musicians place a high value on discovering their own sound and style, and Prince is no exception.
Each set finished with hands in the air, filling the air with a loud applause.
“Jazz Jam is an event where GC students and professors come and play together or individually,” said John Schultze, manager of Amici’s. “It’s an event that brings the community together to broadcast their talents.”
The Jam was a break for students during their busy week to enjoy some talented, passionate and creative artists. Milledgeville local Barb Moore said that she was thrilled to hear the student musicians.
“I felt upbeat and full of energy listening to the musicians perform,” Moore said. “It gives me a whole new appreciation for the art of jazz every time I hear the smooth rhythm of the songs.”
Many local residents attended the event, cheering and clapping after each performance. The small setting brought the audience together to share their common love for music in an intimate environment.
“This Jam brings me back in time and gives me more of an appreciation and push for young people to follow their passions and talents,” Moore said.
Moore said Jazz Jam gave her and her husband Rich Moore the opportunity to be out with friends and enjoy some live music and great food.
“My favorite part of tonight was hearing the new vibe player,” Rich Moore said. “We haven’t seen that in the jazz band before, and it was a great addition.”