Lake Michigan College Hanson Theatre
2755 E Napier Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
The Lake Michigan College Performing Arts Department presents Take Five – An Alumni Jazz Concert showcasing LMC graduate and pianist Masa Sekioka at 7 p.m. Thursday, March. 28 in The Mendel Center's Hanson Theatre on the Benton Harbor campus.
Originally from Fukuoka, Japan., Sekioka received his music associate in arts degree from LMC in May 2018 and will continue his music education this fall studying music performance with a jazz concentration at The University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine.
"I was fortunate when I came here because I was really the only jazz piano player and I could sit in with the jazz band right away," said Sekioka, who currently works at both LMC’s Mendel Center Box Office and Lemmon Creek Winery's tasting room. "That environment really trained me. I was able to showcase what I've learned with amazing musicians around me. Those gigs, working with the jazz band, and my lessons here gave me much more joy to play music."
Sekioka will perform solo and in various combinations with current and former LMC students and faculty, including Lauren Cerka (tenor saxophone); Grant Frabe (bass); Kyle Ogata (trumpet); Nick White (percussion); and Dr. Robert Lunn (guitar).
"Toward the end of his last semester, he wouldn't say it, but you could tell he was sad that it was coming to an end," Lunn said. "I was thinking about concerts for this year, and I knew he was going to be around, so I thought, ‘We have to have Masa play a concert.'"
The concert, named after the 1959 piece by Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond off Brubeck's seminal "Time Out" album, includes that notable tune as well as pieces by Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Miles Davis and more. Among the highlights are
Frank Churchill's "Someday My Prince Will Come" (1937); Sonny Rollins' Tenor Madness (1956); Luis Bonfa's "Black Orpheus"; Chick Corea's "Spain" (1973); and Billy Strayhorn's "Take The A Train" (1939).
"The first time I heard jazz I was probably 12," Sekioka said. "I heard ‘Take the A Train' and was just drawn to the sound and complexity. Now, I always play ‘Take the A Train' when I have gigs. It's such a memorable song."
Admission to the 90-minute concert is free and open to the public.
Contact the Lake Michigan College Performing Arts Department at (269) 927-8876 or visitwww.lakemichigancollege.edu/arts to learn more about the college's performing and visual arts programs.
South Haven/Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau