Arts, On Campus

BC bOp! Makes Jazzy Return to Robsham with ‘The IncredibOp!s’

Despite the stormy weather Saturday night, friends, family, and fans of BC bOp!, Boston College’s only jazz instrumental and vocal group, packed Robsham Theater. Though the name of the show alludes to a Disney movie soundtrack, the audience was met with a mix of classic jazz, Latin beats, and even R&B instrumentals throughout the concert. 

After two years away from the Robsham stage, BC bOp! made a triumphant return with its spring concert, entitled “The IncredibOp!s.”

The show started when BC bOp! director Sebastian Bonaiuto, director of bands at BC, took the stage and expressed solidarity for the people of Ukraine on behalf of the band. He then asked the audience to stand while the band played the Ukrainian national anthem.

The first jazz tune the band played was “Movin’ Uptown.” The up-tempo piece featured a number of runs in the wind section and a fast-moving bass line, difficult passages that BC bOp! tackled with ease. 

Andrew Schwarzman, CSOM ’22, played accordion and sang “La Cumbia Sampuesana.” The Latin-inspired beat, which Schwarzman arranged for the accordion, was a unique and enjoyable contrast to the prior jazz pieces. The audience clapped and laughed along to the catchy tune.

To end the first act, the band played a mashup of songs entitled “Sixties Medley,” featuring R&B classics like “Heat Wave” and “Dancing in the Street.” BC bOp! vocalists Bridget Brady, MCAS ’22, Sofia Burke, MCAS ’25, and Erin Abely, MCAS ’23, all performed solos while the rest of the vocalists backed them in close harmony, echoing the style of a ’60s R&B group.

The second act began with just the rhythm section on stage. As the stage lights went red and the musicians started playing the theme song to The Incredibles, Bonaiuto came on stage and introduced all of the BC bOp! musicians by section. Each instrument section joined in until the full band was playing along to the recognizable song. 

The classic jazz tune “At Last” by Etta James came next. Burke sang a solo with the band playing behind her and had a masterful command over the stage. She made the piece her own with a number of intricate vocal runs that perfectly showcased her singing abilities. 

Halfway through the second act, Abely sang a solo on the classic Elton John song “Bennie and the Jets.” This particular version had a jazzier feel to it, and it was a fresh reimagining of a familiar song. 

Band members Zachary Jekanowski, MCAS ’23, Michael Pelosi, MCAS ’23, and Jason Fan, MCAS ’24, performed on trumpet, trombone, and saxophone, respectively, as a featured ensemble with Abely. They donned Elton John–style glasses that added to the fun tone of the song. 

Bonaiuto thanked the many people who helped put the concert together. The BC bOp! executive board members thanked Bonaiuto, vocal jazz director Karen Sayward, and concert producer and assistant director of BC bands Kara Robbins. 

The band finished up with the piece “One Night Only.” All of the vocalists took to the stage one last time to add a rousing vocal part to the already upbeat song. 

As the audience jumped to its feet in celebration of the wonderful concert, the band picked up with the traditional BC bOp! encore piece, entitled “That Cat Is High,” marking the perfect end to the night of foot-tapping and head-bobbing performances.      

Featured Image by Yiwen Xiong / For the Heights

Update 3/28/2022 7:10 p.m.: The first sentence was changed to state that the show happened on Saturday night. It previously stated that it was Friday night.

March 27, 2022

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