ASU’s a cappella jazz club offers an outlet for creativity, a break from stress

Abandoning their stressful responsibilities, members of The nuances fill their club room with echoes of roaring laughter and jazz on Monday and Wednesday nights.

Since its founding in 2017, The Undertones has not only served to be ASU’s only a cappella jazz band, but it’s also been a retreat, a safe space for students to bond and gather during their weeks. stressful university life.

“We want a place to be people who are in more intense streams like computer science or engineering or journalism, things that have tight deadlines can come and go,” said sophomore Jaxson Finger. business major and president of The Undertones.

The a cappella club performs at a series of ASU events and this past weekend performed at the Barrett Student Showcase during family weekend.

The nuances organizes auditions each fall for ASU students who may be interested in joining.

The Undertones continue to create a fun environment around the club by creatively implementing a cappella jazz covers of a wide variety of genres from classic jazz to modern pop music.

“We’ve done everything from Billie Eilish songs to Christmas carols to classics. Right now we’ve done kind of a weird fusion of alternative rock and jazz tunes. So we’re doing everything, as long as it’s is a little bit different from pop songs or what other bands might do,” Finger said.

Eric Orson, sophomore computer science student and treasurer of The Undertones, conducts the musical arrangement when the a cappella group plans to practice a new song to cover.

“I arrange songs that already exist and turn them into a cappella, so we don’t need instruments or anything,” Orson said.

When creating songs for their concerts, Orson said they choose “a mix of fast songs, slow songs and jazz arrangements of modern music (which) are jazzy and interesting”. The band’s concerts usually end up performing 15 songs.

At The Undertones concerts, they also have solo performances where their members can “show off their own musical prowess and bring a lot of music into the community,” Orson said.

The Undertones not only serve to bring jazz lovers together, but also to create a strong community outside the club.

Katie Durow, a sophomore in Global Studies and a German double major, remarked on the significant impression on the community The Undertones leave just during her first year in the club.

“Of the performances we’ve done so far, we’ve really made an effort to connect both within our band and with the audience,” Durow said. “Bringing the message of our songs to the public is a very big thing. And we do it with our dynamics and our body language.”

When preparing for performances, The Undertones do “emotional talks, with our songs, where we sit, and we go through song lyrics and talk about the emotions they can bring to us and to the audience,” said Durow said.

The group a cappella, durow said, also wants to introduce people to a different perspective of jazz than the stereotypes people often have of the genre.

“A lot of people overlook jazz, thinking it’s just elevator music or cafe music, but it’s so much more than that. There’s so much passion, emotion and interesting elements “, said Durow.

Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, David Rodish and Greta Forslund.

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