by ARIANA SEANOR
N’awlins, southern slang for New Orleans, is the newest instrumental ensemble within Tiffin University’s music department. The group mimics the style of Dixieland jazz, and despite being the newest group on campus, they have already gained a repertoire for their high energy performances and bayou sound.
Dixieland jazz was first introduced in 1917 by a group called the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Its “Livery Stable Blues” was the first jazz single to ever be issued.
While the Original Dixieland Jazz Band had only five main members, TU’s N’awlins has ten. Under the direction of Ben Herrick, the ensemble has three trumpets; an alto, a tenor, and a baritone saxophone; a sousaphone; a clarinet; a trombone; and a washboard percussionist. Herrick also plays trombone in the ensemble to add diversity.
Thus far N’awlins has performed at the music department’s gala and Christmas at the Ritz, with many more performances scheduled for this semester. The group’s on-campus notoriety comes from its memorable performance of “Joe Avery Blues” at Christmas at the Ritz, where the members swung down the aisles to the Louisiana sound.
“The N’awlins ensemble members are doing a great job learning music that is outside of their usual spectrum,” said Herrick. “So far our performances have been very well received, and I am excited to show off this ensemble to prospective students and the community.”
N’awlins members share excitement to perform their new music and take the group to the next level. Make sure to listen for more of the increasingly popular group. N’awlins sousaphone player Quin Fleming said, “This ensemble definitely gets us out of our comfort zone, but overall it is a blast.”
Trumpet player Dillon Mikan agreed. “This ensemble is unlike any I’ve ever played in. It is so much fun, and we are given permission to add a little personality to each of our parts,” he said.