The Liberty Theater Cultural Center was wall to wall with people Sunday evening for the Columbus Jazz Society’s monthly concert and jam session. They came to enjoy the music of the Alex Pershounin Quartet, and four Columbus State student musicians, one of whom was awarded a thousand-dollar scholarship, and the various musicians who took took part in the jam session.
CSU music major and sophomore Jack Meisburg, of Alpharetta, Georgia, who plays bass, won the scholarship.
Starting with Dixieland and coming up to today’s jazz, the Pershounin Jazz Quartet gave the Jazz Society members and guests a jazz history lesson. The quartet is led by Columbus State Director of Jazz Studies Dr. Alex Pershounin who plays dazzling jazz bass. He has quite a resume, playing with such greats at Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Ray Charles, and he has recored several commercially released CD albums and music to four full-length motion pictures.
The other three members of the quartet are also college instructors. Saxaphonist Amy Griffths, teaches saxaphone at CSU. Dr. Paul Viallancourt teaches percussion at CSU, and guitarist Robert Orr is Professor of Guitar at Auburn University.
I don’t claim to be a music critic, but I do have some background in music, having been a percussionist in high school, college, and Army bands. In 1955-56, I played in a jazz combo that toured U.S. Army posts in Bavaria, Germany, so I guess I have some idea of when jazz is played well. It was played extremely well Sunday evening at the Liberty. Judging from the thunderous applause they gave, I would say that the rest of the audience completely agreed with me. If you like jazz, you’ll love the Columbus Jazz Society sessions. The next one is on May 9th.