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Jazz band to play musical retrospective of style's history Tuesday

As jazz was first hitting the scene, moving pictures were still a new phenomenon, the Titanic had just sunk and Taft was handing over the presidency to Woodrow Wilson. Tuesday, musician Jesse Lynch will take audiences back to that era with a celebration of jazz history.

Performer Jesse Lynch and the Jesse Lynch Trio will present Jazz 101 a multimedia concert and presentation that details the history of jazz and its intersections with American history.

"We're taking a retrospective approach and taking the audience through the entire development of jazz that coexists with the historical events of their lifetimes," Lynch said. "Hopefully it will make them reflect on the music and their lives. It can be very striking and nostalgic and powerful to see these connections."

Lynch along with bassist Joe Michaels and drummer Matt Smallcomb form the Jesse Lynch Trio, a group that perform jazz standards throughout the country. At the event, the trio will perform tunes from jazz legends Scott Joplin, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong and more. The show will also feature archival footage of jazz musicians, as well as photos of artists and historical events to contextualize the music being played.

Lynch said the program will touch upon all of the variations of jazz, from early pieces to the modern era, including original compositions written by Lynch.

"There are so many things that are called jazz, that sometimes people are turned off by a particular experience with it," Lynch said. "The idea is to show off the whole century of continuous development. [The] history of it is quite rich and also quite surprising to connect with how it really happened."

According to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the genre developed out of ragtime and blues, and was popularized by African-American musicians and pianists with ties to New Orleans. The first jazz recording, "Livery Stable Blues," was cut in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jass Band. Lynch described the formation of jazz as one of the earliest and most prominent examples of a purely American art form.

The event is being held by Carroll Live On Stage, a volunteer community arts organization that focuses on bringing musicians to Carroll venues.

Glenn Patterson, of the board of directors, said the group attempts to bring in artists that will expand the reach of local music lovers as well as those that will play the old standards that everyone loves. Patterson said the Jazz 101 program does both.

"I think that hopefully it will be an opportunity for some folks to learn a little bit more about jazz stylings and be involved in getting more information about what is happening in that world," Patterson said.

Lynch, a New York City pianist, has worked with Grammy Award winner Charlie Neville and released two albums. He said he began playing the piano at age five.

"I took lessons and I also did a lot of improvisation at home," Lynch said. "My parents always supported that freedom because I was having a lot of fun. I learned how great it can be do do this style of music, but in a personal way."

Lynch said the evolution of jazz is a perfect companion for a tour through American history. The stories of both weave together and intertwine to inform one another.

"I, personally, have been very impacted by jazz music. I feel it is powerful and unique," Lynch said. "There's a certain freedom out of the expression of jazz and improvised music. The feel of jazz has always taken me for a ride."

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