Colorado College currently has two staple bands: The Raisins and YouJazz. These two bands have become the go-to performers for many campus concerts and house parties. This isn’t to say that up-and-comers like TOUCHIT and 50/50 Boardslide aren’t making a splash in our music scene, but that these two are currently dominating it.
Three weeks ago, YouJazz played at student residence 1127 Wahsatch Street, commonly known as The Wastement. The show began intimately with a crowd of approximately 20 people, and the crowd got increasingly bigger and rowdier as the night progressed. By the end of the show, the room was completely packed, and the front row was jumping around with their shirts soaked in sweat. YouJazz’s fans came in full force and loved every minute of it.
The defining factor of YouJazz is that they haven’t locked themselves into any one genre, and they do a great job with it. Many of our other bands have their niches: The Raisins with ‘70s rock and 50/50 Boardslide with ‘90s pop and alternative rock. YouJazz, however, is versatile, playing jazz, as their name implies, but also foraying into rock, indie, and soul music.
The band doesn’t deliberately create any competition with the other bands. Most of the band is trained in jazz, which inspires them to improvise. “We play the music that we like,” says trumpeter Nick Stephens.
YouJazz is fairly democratic in choosing songs before sets, but have currently been working more on original songs, three of which they premiered at the show. “We like to choose songs that give them a really wide range of options within the song, because we don’t always know where the music is going,” said Stephens.
One of my favorite things about their sets is that they cover LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean” and “All My Friends.” “The songs are all about slow build up,” added Stephens, which is why they chose to cover them.
Singer Sophie Javna had fallen ill before the show and couldn’t perform, but the other members claimed that if she were there, they would have played more soul, which is Javna’s specialty. One can see that the group has an incredibly eclectic set list.
The band has been very busy this year. They claim that they’ve been playing every week and estimate they’ve played around 15-20 shows since the start of school. Typically at house parties, the band says they’ll drink while playing, but never enough that they are unable to play. They want to be able to have fun with the crowd, but not so much that they can’t focus on playing. “That the most important thing you need to know about YouJazz is that we like to have a good time,” said bassist Drew Campbell.
If you want updates on YouJazz and upcoming shows, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/youjazzband. Saxophonist Evan Levy says you should “be sure to click on the links for the blingees.” Whatever that is.
Out this week: Britney Spears’ Britney Jean.