Jazzing up the school year

This year, Sacred Heart Greenwich junior Malika Amoruso created an Upper School jazz band club in hopes of sharing her love for jazz with her classmates.  Malika’s club will meet outside of school, which she hopes will make it a stress-free and enjoyable environment.
Malika said she wanted to start an outside of school club because there is less stress added to finding the right songs and making sure that everyone has a chance to play.  With the help of Ms. Eva Carrasquero, Lower School Music Teacher and Chair of Arts Department, Malika formulated a plan to begin her club.

Malika Amoruso ’20 plays jazz piano at the Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island, SC.  Courtesy of Malika Amoruso ’20

Jazz originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the early twentieth century, however, its roots trace back to traditional African and European music techniques, according to jazzinamerica.org.  The rhythm of jazz derived from African-American slaves but eventually adapted to the style of Western music in 1895.  Jazz flourished in New Orleans, as it is a port city, a meeting place for ethnic groups, and a city full of vibrant nightlife.  These aspects allowed musicians to play together, learn from each other, and blend techniques, forming modern, American jazz music, according to jazzinamerica.org.
Malika’s interest in music began when she started playing piano before kindergarten.  However, her love for jazz began two years ago when she attended a “Jazz at Lincoln” Christmas show at Lincoln Center in December 2017.  Malika hopes she will someday perform jazz with her classmates at Sacred Heart’s Performance events, including the Christmas and Spring Concerts.
Although Malika loves all music genres, she especially loves jazz because of its ability to unite people. Malika wants to inspire her fellow students to seek a new window of possibilities and to not be afraid to try something new.

Malika Amoruso ’20, seated at the piano, performs at a Hilton Head Jazz Camp concert. Courtesy of Malika Amoruso ’20

One of Malika’s favorite aspects of jazz is having the chance to show her voice and branch out to new opportunities, which she hopes to bring to the Sacred Heart community.
She believes that there are no limits in creating and playing jazz, and wants her classmates to be able to learn something new while also enjoying themselves.
“The sound of music lifts me up,” Malika said.  “There’s nothing else that sounds like jazz, it’s so unique and it really brings people together.”
– Jacey Heffernan, Staff Writer
Featured Image by Sydney Gallop ’20