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Jazz After Five plays on

BY ASHLEY MURPHY | SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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On Friday evening, the Mill will host its weekly Jazz After Five from 5 to 7 p.m. Piano and bass duo Blake Shaw and Grace Leong will perform their mash-ups and styles of standard jazz tunes.

The event will be free and open to all jazz lovers or anyone who wants to stop by.

“The band varies every week, and they play two sets usually,” Mill events manager Erin McMeen said. “They just kind of get up there, jam out, and have a good time. It’s a very relaxed environment.”

The Mill has provided this “relaxed environment” accompanied by smooth jazz for four years, McMeen said. The idea sprang from jazz enthusiast and former Professor at the University of Iowa Brent Sandy.

Although local jazz collector Craig Kessler is now responsible for supporting and promoting the local jazz scene through Jazz After Five, McMeen said Sandy’s role as the creator may explain the heavy student involvement, in both the musicians and the attendees.

“The performers are mostly students or recent graduate students of the university’s music program,” McMeen said. “There are some local musicians every once in a while.”

Though Jazz After Five is a recurring event, McMeen said, the audience never knows what exactly to expect from the performers.

“There’s always a lot of improv and showcases,” he said. “You also get to see young people developing their craft, and you get to watch them advance, which is really cool.”


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