By Jill Dougher
ACU jazz students and Monks Coffee Shop have joined forces to create a weekly jazz night at Monks for those who enjoy playing or listening to jazz music.
Jazz Night is a free, informal event that allows students, faculty and the public to bring an instrument to Monks and play jazz music every Tuesday night from 8:30-10 p.m.
Derek Brown, director of jazz studies at ACU, said he created the event as an outlet for jazz students to share their skill.
“Performing is when you learn the most, which got me thinking to find a place where students can practice what they’ve learned,” Brown said.
Brown contacted Monks and proposed the idea of an open jazz night on Mondays or Tuesdays, because they are typically the least busy nights for the coffee shop. They eventually decided on Tuesday.
“Since then, it has been a goal to make Tuesday night the busiest night Monks has seen,” Brown said.
Jazz Night, began about a month ago, and the audience increased to 30-40 from 15 visitors every Tuesday night, he said.
“What begins as background music soon develops into a concert,” Brown said.
Aaron Cavitt, senior interdisciplinary major from Abilene, plays the tenor sax for an ACU jazz combo that played during one of the Jazz Night events.
“Our whole combo played a number, and then pretty soon, different people joined in,” Cavitt said. “It was a pretty big jam fest.”
Emily Garner, senior nursing major from Dallas, happened to be at Monks on the first Jazz Night.
“I’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere of Monks, and Jazz Night really adds to it,” Garner said. “It’s awesome to just drink your coffee and enjoy people having fun with music.”