LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - "Jazz in the Arts" was alive in Lake Charles. Jazz in the Arts Foundation Southwest Louisiana hosted the latest in its ongoing series to promote jazz.
Proceeds raised by the non-profit organization offers the Chester Daigle Scholarship of $1,000 to a local high school student who plans to pursue a music degree in jazz.
"We hope to inspire the community with jazz and entertainment. Jazz provides a cultural experience that lets you feel the music. The audience for jazz is tremendous. There's a lot of people out there that love jazz. We just want to have a central place where they can come and get it," said Lisa Malveaux, Jazz in the Arts board member.
The audience was treated to performances by Trumpeter James Marshall of Beaumont, Texas. Marshall played and sang several jazz favorites including Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."
The feature performance was by the husband-wife duo, Saxophonist Patrick Sheng and Trombonist Crystal Hayes-Sheng. Patrick is the director of Jazz studies and Assistant Professor of Saxophone at McNeese State University. Crystal also teaches on the side. The couple said they are glad they can share their gift and help preserve the history of jazz.
"In my opinion jazz is America's music, especially here in Louisiana. And teaching kids how to improvise it really brings out their creative juices whether it be in a small or large ensemble. It can really give them self esteem and a creative outlet," said Crystal.
"With jazz you can do anything you want which you can't do when you play classical music. When you are in a symphony orchestra you have to play the part and you can't do whatever you want. You can't just follow your muse or your impulses. I think the most exciting part is when that leads you somewhere you have not been before," said Patrick.