‘Legendary Ladies of Jazz’ lights up stage
By Hannah Anderson
A & E Editor
The LCC Faculty Jazz Quartet kicked off the college’s events for Black History Month for the sixth year in a row Sunday, Jan. 29 at Dart Auditorium.
Jazz singer Ramona Collins joined the quartet to perform songs from the “Legendary Ladies of Jazz.”
There were crashes of cymbals, riffs on the piano, swells of the saxophone, and upbeat notes of the bass as the quartet performed songs by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and more.
Robin Moore, the chair of the Black History Month committee, said Collins and the quartet were a success.
“Ramona Collins, she did the stage justice,” Moore said. “It was wonderful, and the turnout was great. It was a great kick-off for Black History Month.”
Cecilia Harte, a student at LCC and concert attendee, added Collins has a powerful stage presence.
“I love jazz, and I especially love female vocalists,” said Harte. “(Ramona Collins) is so beautiful and so powerful. She doesn’t even need the mic— it’s like a prop.”
Collins said she enjoyed the concert and working with the quartet. She said she wanted to show all different sides to the history of African Americans and jazz.
“I tried to take people through a couple different emotions,” Collins said.
She said it was challenging to sing one of the songs, “Strange Fruit,” because of the deep meaning and story about lynching behind it.
“That’s a very hard song to sing,” Collins said on stage after performing, with some of the audience murmuring in agreement. “That’s a song you only do now and then.”
However, Collins and the quartet made an effort to “pick the mood back up” after performing “Strange Fruit.”
The concert and its theme impacted alumni of 2013 Sydney Noels, who said African Americans have contributed a lot to society.
“I think that more people should see the influence on our culture, our diversity, our jazz and American art,” said Noels.
For more information on the events for Black History Month, call Student Life at (517) 483-1285 or go to http://www.lcc.edu/studentlife/bhm/