By Alexandra Alpert
For The Diamondback
Saxophonist Walter Smith III performed his new album In Common III at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center Thursday as part of The Clarice’s Visiting Artist Series.
“This is also an event I really wanted to come see … It’s been a while since I have been to a jazz show like this,” Brandon Greenberg, a sophomore communication and saxophone performance major at the University of Maryland, said.
Smith was joined onstage by Matt Brewer on the bass and Obed Calvaire on the drums.
Smith lives in Boston and is the chair of the woodwind department at Berklee College of Music. He has performed all over the world, participating in many international festivals and venues such as the Kennedy Center.
“It’s really cool to see professional musicians being able to do this whole range of music skills,” Colin Eng, a sophomore music education and saxophone performance major, said.
Eng is part of the UMD Jazz Ensemble at this university. He had the opportunity to meet Smith when he came and worked with their group on some of their different pieces.
The Visiting Artist Series invites artists from around the world to perform or host activities at The Clarice. These events are organized to assist students in establishing connections with the community.
Freshman jazz studies and music education major Joshua Griffin, was grateful to have the opportunity to see Smith perform. He believes by watching professional performances such as this one, he gains unparalleled exposure.
“I think it gives [students] an insight of how it is in the jazz scene,” Griffin said. “He is a big name out there. So it kind of gives [students] an idea of what people are doing.”
Since the album’s release, Smith’s song “Shine” has more than 200,000 streams on Spotify. He also has more than 130,000 monthly listeners on the platform.
Greenberg said although these events are enjoyable to attend, they are also a learning experience for students.
“What we do is not the easiest thing in the world, and I don’t think a lot of people realize that, so seeing someone else do it professionally and on a stage gives us something not only to enjoy but to learn from,” Greenberg said.