Drake Jazz Ensemble I

Drake Jazz Ensemble I

Monday, July 26, 2010

We'll Always Have Paris

After Brugge, we boarded a bus and drove to Paris for a few free days to explore one of the oldest and Frenchiest cities in the world.

(Click on photos to make them larger)
The band in front of the Eiffel Tower:

The sax section:

The rhythm section:

The trombone section (with interlopers)

The trumpet section:

Mike Ramirez, tour planner; Professor Classen; Bobby Liew, our incomparable tour guide:

A few Parisian sites:

This was the view from our hotel room:

Our jazz skills came in quite handy, as the Parisian metro system requires some degree of improvisation:

Fortuitously, our visit to Paris fell on Bastille Day, which meant free entrance to the Louvre!

My brother and my decapitated head in front of the entrance pyramid:

At this point in the trip, our feet were beginning to adapt to the official mode of transport in Europe -- aka, walking:

Totally worth it.

The view from our hotel at night:

The Enigmatic Travel Blog

Things we take for granted in Iowa:

1) Air conditioning
2) Ice cubes in our drinks
3) The ability for restaurants to split checks and/or take credit or debit cards
4) People speaking English with Midwestern accents
5) Free water
6) Public restrooms

...and, most importantly (at least in terms of travel blog maintenance):


We took many pictures and now have audio recordings of our live performances, which will be posted shortly. Sorry about the delay! Hope you're excited to retroactively hear about our trip!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Netherlands Zero, Drake Jazz Ensemble One

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

A traveller is to be reverenced as such. His profession is the best symbol of our life.
Henry David Thoureau

Are we there yet?
Ice Cube

We departed Des Moines on Thursday, July 8th and flew to Chicago! Then, we boarded a plane for Frankfurt and spent seven and a half hours over the Atlantic and arrived in Germany just in time to board a plane for Amsterdam. From Amsterdam, we took a bus to Rotterdam, where our hotel was located.

Here is how some of our members looked after the ordeal:

Even the most difficult of journeys cannot diminish the gorgeousness of the Drake University Jazz Ensemble One.

Rotterdam and Amsterdam

Here are a few photos from the North Sea Jazz Festival:

The hotel lobby in Rotterdam:

A few sites in Rotterdam and Amsterdam:

After a day of sightseeing, we performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival to an adoring multi-national audience. Hopefully, video of our performance will be posted to the blog soon!

Did you happen to hear about a soccer game or something that apparently the entire world participates in?
Oh, and that the Netherlands was competing IN THE FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH?!

Unfortunately, Holland did not win the World Cup, but we had plenty of fun cheering them on.

In Brugges

Today, we departed from Rotterdam and traveled via bus to Brugges, Belgium.

The hotel:

Out and about around town:

Belgian waffles with Belgian chocolate!

Some band members have a hard time staying out of trouble.


Tomorrow, we depart bright and early for a few days in Paris!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From Osceola... to Amsterdam!

The changing seasons of the Midwest – the intense heat in summer, bitter cold in winter, and unsurpassable beauty and invigorating weather of fall and spring – is what makes it an interesting place to live. Only robust and virile people can live in such a climate and enjoy it.
-- Nile Kinnick

It's hard to believe that anyone would want to leave Iowa during its renowned summertime -- the heat, the humidity, the flooding -- but the Drake Jazz Ensemble One will make the sacrifice in order to represent our university on a two-week European tour.

We'll be making stops in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and England, and performing at various jazz festivals and local spots of interest. To adequately prepare ourselves for the grandeur of a European tour, the band traveled to Osceola, Iowa, and performed a pre-tour concert as part of the town's Independence Day Festival.

The Osceolans were a great audience, and we were very grateful to perform for them.

Here we are warming-up before the show. It had been 2 months since we had performed together and, obviously, we were very excited for our reunion.

Professor Classen, our director, assisted the trumpet section for a tune.

"Ya Gotta Try" features a tenor saxophone improvisation battle between Kyle Glavanovits (standing on left) and Roland Hart (standing on right). There was no clear winner, as both saxophonists performed admirably -- membership in Drake Jazz Ensemble One, after all, is enough of a prize for any saxophonist!

The stage at Osceola's Clarke Community High School is a great performance space!

Professor Classen

[Photos via Melody De Vos]

After four rehearsals over the course of the next two days, the band will be ready to depart for Amsterdam on Thursday! Watch this blog for updates!