Student musicians will have the opportunity to grace a Northern Liberties jazz club Wednesday with a performance for the first Temple Jazz Night.
At a first glance, Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus may seem like a desolate place. But inside, people have enjoyed jazz tunes and Ortlieb’s American and Cajun food for 22 years. Located at 847 N. Third St. in Northern Liberties, Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus has featured prominent jazz musicians like Mickey Roker and other up-and-coming jazz bands in its cozy, laid-back atmosphere.
Wednesday, Sept. 30, jazz musicians from Temple’s Jazz Department will play the jazz club for Temple Jazz Night.
Three semesters ago, Terrell Stafford, Director of Jazz Studies and professor, partnered with Kevin Malberry, the owner of Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus, to host Temple Jazz Night once a month in order to help students develop their musical talents through live performances.
“The audience is very encouraging,” Malberry said. “They enjoy watching [the bands] and seeing them grow.”
Kicking off Ortlieb’s Temple Jazz Night is The Marsha Bowe Project, which consists of eight Temple Jazz musicians who have played together for four years. Its members, Marsha Bowe, Jon Katz, Luke Brandon, Amanda Nou, Andy Martinek, Dan Hamahan, Tim Brey and Dahni Scally, make up a jazz band with an eclectic style.
The band’s music is influenced by classic and contemporary jazz, including funk, ballads and Afro-Cuban music. The Marsha Bowe Project’s composer, Bowe, strives to write music that draws a response and emotion from the audience, she said.
“When playing jazz music, one of the most important things is to get a reaction from the audience, whether it’s dancing or nostalgia,” Bowe said.
While Marsha Bowe is the sole composer for The Marsha Bowe Project, each band member contributes to their musical pieces through improvisation.
“Each person adds their own personal element to the music,” Martinek, the band’s drummer, said.
Although Sept. 30 will be the Marsha Bowe Project’s first time playing as a group at Ortileb’s Temple Jazz Night, they are not strangers to the Philadelphia jazz scene. The Marsha Bowe Project has also played at Chris’ Jazz Café, the Tritown, the North Star Bar and the Greenland Bar.
These musicians said they see playing in Philadelphia as a part of the jazz culture, and encouraged other jazz student-musicians to participate in the city’s jazz scene.
“It is important,” Bowe said, “for students in the Temple jazz program to get out in the city and make music.”
Lauren Gill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.