It’s the season of jazz, and DePauw is in full swing. If school is in session you can count on The Fluttering Duck to be alive with live jazz music on Thursdays from 8:30 to 10:30.
The Duck will host a variety of different performances, including guest artists from Indianapolis, as well as from around the state, faculty performances, and open jam sessions for anyone wanting to play with a talented rhythm section.
Professor of Jazz Studies Steve Snyder describes Jazz at the Duck as a “Community of people who get together, play jazz, and enjoy each others company.” The environment is welcoming to any player at any skill level.
“It’s a good chance to get people used to playing outside a normal recital venue,” Snyder said.
The monthly jam sessions are supported by a rhythm section of talented local musicians, one of which is 1973 DePauw graduate and Greencastle resident Bill Hamm. Hamm covered stand-up bass at the September 5th jam session, and has been playing for jazz at the duck for five years. Something about the place just keeps bringing him back.
“Having students come in a play with us… I really enjoy that. I also really enjoy playing jazz. And just hanging out with these musicians… that’s what it's all about.” Hamm said.
Jazz at the Duck is also important for the students that participate. Justin Brown ‘22 was an attendee of every jam session in the 18-19 school year, fueled by his interest in jazz as a career. But the environment is simply fun.
“You can come down here in a very low stakes, casual gig. You can leave when you want and you can come in when you want. And on jam session nights you can support your friends” said Brown.
Future open jam sessions will be held October 3rd, October 31st, and December 5th, but every Thursday will have some type of free live jazz that anyone is welcome to enjoy.