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Friday December 3rd

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UNC, Duke perform in Valentine's Day big band concert

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article identified the UNC Jazz Band guitarist as Chris Wright. At this performance, it was Nathan Huvard. Wright was playing the bass. The article has been updated to reflect this change.

It’s not often that you see UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke come together in an event that does not take place on a basketball court.

Rivalries aside, both schools performed alongside North Carolina Central University for the 9th Annual Valentine’s Jazz Concert.

“I liked how the three schools came together and got to contribute — that was really special,” said Amanda Stewart, a sophomore.

Duke’s jazz ensemble kicked off the event and included many toe-tapping numbers, including “Mack the Knife,” a song made famous by esteemed jazz musician Louis Armstrong in 1956.

They also played a lesser well-known version of Nancy Wilson’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and it was a soulful rendition with a powerful ending.

The UNC Jazz Band, directed by Jim Ketch, performed a varied medley of jazz for the audience.

Its version of “A Felicidade” initially had a cultural and relaxed feel and then exploded with sound.

“Impressions,” a soft, moving finale piece with a solo by guitarist Nathan Huvard was arguably the best performance of the ensemble.

NCCU’s ensemble included a number of memorable performances with various paces. “Eternal Triangle” was a fast-paced, exciting number while “Summer in Central Park” was a delicate, sway-inducing piece.

This event is one of many involved in the Carolina Jazz Festival.

The UNC Jazz Band will conclude the festival with a concert featuring soloists Claudio Roditi and Michael Dease on Feb. 23 at Kenan Music Building.

UNC, Duke and NCCU will reunite again next year for the 10th Annual Valentine’s Jazz Concert which will take place on NCCU’s campus.

“It’s cool that we can come together and actually do something that doesn’t have to do with a rivalry,” said freshman Melissa Moss, a member of the UNC Jazz Band.

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