By Andi Berlin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 7, 2005
For the most part, listening to good music is a purely selfish matter. Since you can't possibly share the feelings music gives you inside, you aren't benefiting anybody but yourself by listening. Unless, of course, you are seeing the McHafer Trio play jazz.
On Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Dove of Peace Lutheran Church will sponsor a night of jazz music performed by a group of three UA music majors. Although the event is free, any donations will go to the Lutheran Campus Ministry, one of 25 religious groups on campus.
Besides spending time worshipping, going on retreats and studying the Bible, the ministry also takes part in many projects around the community. Donation money will increase their participation in endeavors like Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life.
But everyone, even selfish music lovers and non-Lutherans, is invited to the event. Even though they are only two guitar players and a percussionist, the McHafer Trio plays energetic and uptempo jazz that, according to guitarist Time Hafer, "fills a lot of space in a short amount of time."
Fusing elements of bebop, salsa and jam band rock and roll with improvisational jazz, the McHafer trio manages to keep their sound new and interesting, even when they are playing old standards. Hafer describes their sound when he says, "Every single song we play opens up into an improvisational session at least. One of our biggest goals as a unit is to create new music and to be in the moment."
The Trio breathes life into the greats: Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Parker, George Gershwin, even Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. The Trio also plays many original compositions written by Hafer. Their influences are many, ranging from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to seventies rock group Steely Dan, hip-hop and Trey Anastasio of Phish.
They chose to perform at Jazz Under the Stars because they say they play best when under the spotlight. And they make a point of getting people engaged with the music. "The only way it stays interesting for us is if we're having fun. So we try to do everything we can to make it as enjoyable as possible for everybody," said Hafer.
Before the McHafer Trio begins playing, visitors will be treated by the campus ministry students to desserts and beverages sitting atop candlelit tables and chairs scattered across the east patio of the church. The setting will also be perfect for the intermission, where local students will share details about school and their lives.
The Jazz Under the Stars concert is all part of a larger concert series put on by the church to interact with people from around the community. Even though Dove of Peace Lutheran Church is a few miles away, jazz lovers and anybody who likes music from the UA are encouraged to attend.
Jazz Under the Stars will start at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Dove of Peace Lutheran Church located at 665 W. Roller Coaster Road.