On Nov. 5, Harvard was fortunate sufficient to host famed jazz trumpet participant and composer Ingrid Jensen in a efficiency with the Harvard Monday Jazz Band. Jensen, alongside Yaure Muniz, the Interim Director of Jazz Ensembles, led the Harvard band of their “Landscapes from Venus: Massive Ensemble Works by Ladies Live performance,” which included some items composed by or that includes Jensen.
Within the days following the efficiency, Jensen sat down for an interview with The Harvard Crimson to speak concerning the expertise, as nicely her profession in jazz extra broadly.
As Jensen places it, she “knew that [she] was going to do music since most likely earlier than [she] was born.” Her lifelong journey of her paid off. Since her commencement from the Berklee School of Music in 1989, Jensen has been taking the jazz world by storm. A few of her extra notable accomplishments embrace changing into the youngest professor on the Bruckner Conservatory in Austria, performing with Corrine Bailey Rae on Saturday Evening Stay, profitable the Carmine Caruso Trumpet Competitors in 1995, and receiving the Jazz Journalists Trumpeter-of-the-12 months award. in 2019.
When requested what led her to turn into a musician, Jensen cited her mom’s report assortment.
“My mother beloved swinging jazz piano, so her report assortment turned out to be largely African American artists — Oscar Peterson, Artwork Tatum, Fat Waller and the entire actual deep historic legends of this music,” Jenson mentioned. “Their message was the music and the camaraderie and group that it creates. So between that, and rising up in an atmosphere the place we had a deep respect for language, I feel swinging music was in my cells.”
“Swinging” ran so deep in her blood, actually, that it prevented her from different avenues of music. Jensen recounted her transient stint with classical music, which got here to a halt when her instructor instructed her that she was “too jazzy” to play within the “straight” method required for classical music.
“On the time, I used to be harm,” Jensen mentioned. “Now I look again at it and assume it is type of a praise.”
On stage, Jensen’s “swinging” is obvious in one of the best ways. Jensen was outgoing as each an individual and a musician, as she led the Harvard Monday Jazz Band. She danced her approach by way of the efficiency, cheering on different band members in between her phenomenal trumpet enjoying de ella.
“Consider it as a portray,” she mentioned in reference to her efficiency. “The dancing and transferring of my physique comes from the emotional connection I really feel to all these completely different textures we’re enjoying with — generally a vivid blue or different instances foggy, earthy tones. Once I begin enjoying with the band, it is actually their vitality I am shopping for off of. The extra they join with me and the extra I can join with them, the better it’s for me to do what I do.”
Jensen praised the Harvard Monday Jazz Band on this regard. “I do know these college students are doing 1,000,000 different issues. Their lives are so full and their brains are so saturated with a lot data. For them to return on stage and play the way in which they performed on that degree is extraordinary in itself,” she mentioned.
Musicians, Jensen went on to explain, have to be “of their physique” when it is time to play—one thing she feels the Monday Jazz Band did nicely. She spoke particularly about her piece de ella “At Sea,” which she composed to inform the story of her honeymoon de ella, the place she and her husband de ella sailed by way of southeast Alaska.
“That they had executed their homework, having checked out the tune and listened to it. It made it simpler for me—I did not have to clarify the essence of every part,” she mentioned. “It turned extra about what their impressions have been and the way they determined to place the story by way of their devices. Each time I do this piece, it is fully completely different – that is why it is so enjoyable.”
Although the live performance was particularly devoted to massive ensemble works by girls, Jensen was notably one of many solely girls on stage with the Monday Jazz Band. Particularly, Jensen was the one feminine trumpet participant.
When requested how she felt about it, Jensen shared that the difficulty of variety comes from the favored imaginative and prescient of what a trumpet participant seems like, particularly because it impacts youthful college students.
“The actual drawback is within the decrease grades in class the place they do not see a picture of a trumpet participant, and in the event that they do, it is all the time the inventory picture of a person with a hat and funky sun shades from New Orleans.”
Nevertheless, Jensen thinks this may be modified.
“I can think about that after this expertise they will attain out to feminine trumpet gamers they might know. That is the place we now have to essentially nurture all these relationships—to encourage each other to return out and play. To get the illustration of all individuals undernourished on this style, largely simply due to the visible.”
Jensen will return to Boston in early February for 2 live shows with the ensemble Artemis on the Berklee Efficiency Middle. To listen to Jensen’s recorded music, try her de ella album “Infinitude,” co-released together with her sister Christine Jensen and her de ella more moderen recording “Invisible Sound.”