The opening act for the Robin Eubanks concert, called “Jazz at the Speed of Light,” will be unlike anything you’ve seen or heard.
It will use the superfast Internet2 technology, which is wired into The Fox, to bring musicians in Illinois and Iceland “onto” the stage.
EWU’s director of jazz Phil Doyle will play piano live on stage while joined by a pianist and trombonist beamed in from the University of Illinois. You’ll see them on a screen above the stage and hear their music on the Fox’s sound system, simultaneously with Doyle. This kind of remote musical collaboration is possible only with a connection this fast.
Then, there will be an interlude for a brief master class, in which a student from the audience will be able to perform with, and learn from, the University of Illinois faculty members.
Finally, two jazz musicians from Iceland will appear “live” on screen – and on the Fox sound system – performing several numbers. It will sound as if they are right there in the theater.
“Jazz at the Speed of Light,” will, according to Doyle, make several important points:
• “We can connect to places as remote as Iceland.”
• “We can bring together artists from all over the country and world.”
• “We can play music simultaneously.”
• “We can use this technology for music education.”
And it should be a nice appetizer for the main event, in which Eubanks takes the stage – live and in person.
– Jim Kershner