High Country Jazz “GHOULective” hosts Spooky Shindig at Crossroads


The Appalachian Online

Katie Murawski

On Monday Oct. 26, the High Country Jazz “GHOULective” at the Devil’s Crossroads provided an alternative experience from the usual jazz night held at Crossroads coffee in the Plemmons Student Union from 8-10 p.m. on Monday nights. The Jazz Collective performed classic Halloween tunes and jazz renditions of other “spooky” songs.

The core collective is composed of Chris Pope, on “piercing piano,” Nic Pressley on “trumpet tricky treat,” Tyler Piette on “ghostly guitar,” Jay Dineen on “bloodcurdling bass,” and John Hargett on “dastardly drums.”

The band specially featured Grant Smith on the “tromBONE” and professor Todd Wright on the “sickening saxophone.”

Tyler Piette, a junior music industry major, felt happy to play Halloween tunes and promote the Jazz Collective. The collective is mainly composed of music majors in the jazz concentration, Piette said.

The jazz night at Crossroads started in 2011 and has been passed down by music majors and jazz concentrations ever since. Piette said this jazz night is “the first of its kind” because of the Halloween themed set list.

The setlist included songs like “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” from Monsters Inc., “Monster Mash” by Bobby Picket, “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and “Blues for Donnie,” one of Piette’s own arrangements.

Piette said Crossroads is a great venue for the Jazz Collective.

“It is great for musicians to be able to play for their professors and for an audience. It is really a win-win situation. Monday night jazz is a place for musicians to practice because people wouldn’t really notice if you were not on your game. It works both ways — if you are on your game people will notice that and would enjoy it,” Piette said.

The swing dance club accompanied the performance. Gina McDaniel is a member of the club and dressed as “hipster Snow White.” McDaniel “loved” the spooky shindig, she said.

“I really liked that I could wear my costume and be able to dance as well.”

Asher Daniels dressed as Ryu, his favorite character from the video game “Street Fighter” and gave a shoutout to Piette for “rocking the Avatar ghost mask.”

Jessica Feldman and Madison Kennedy are roommates that came out to the event to drink hot chocolate and get in the Halloween spirit. “It is nice to start off the week with Halloween festivities, this is my first jazz night and the Halloween theme is the reason I came,” Feldman said

For music majors this concert was considered “concert credit” to be counted towards the 10 performances music majors have to attend each semester, Piette said. There will be another themed jazz night coming soon for Christmas to be tentatively held on Nov. 30 from 8-10p.m.

The Jazz Collective is open to any musicians who wish to sit in and play.

Story by: Katie Murawski, A&E Reporter