Ball State jazz group performs at Indianapolis District Theatre

<p>Jacob Smith (right center) stands with the other members of his jazz group &quot;The Jacob Smith Quartet&quot; — Diego Balseca, Sam Green and Alec Kosla — ahead of their District Theatre performance in Indianapolis June 4, 2021. The opportunity to perform came from Ball State Professor of Music Performance Mark Buselli. <strong>Jacob Smith, Photo Provided</strong></p>

Jacob Smith (right center) stands with the other members of his jazz group "The Jacob Smith Quartet" — Diego Balseca, Sam Green and Alec Kosla — ahead of their District Theatre performance in Indianapolis June 4, 2021. The opportunity to perform came from Ball State Professor of Music Performance Mark Buselli. Jacob Smith, Photo Provided

After a long year of live performances on hold, a jazz group from Ball State performed at the District Theatre in Indianapolis June 4. "The Jacob Smith Quartet" was formed by senior jazz bass performance major Jacob Smith and his group of friends that he met in the School of Music. 

The group consists of Smith, the bassist of the group, with Diego Balseca as the alto saxophonist, Sam Green as the drummer and Alec Kosla as the guitarist. Ball State musical theatre alumna Akili Ni Mali joined the group for their performance as the featured vocalist. 

Smith said he was excited to represent Ball State in front of a live audience. His group's performance was part of a series hosted by the Timeless Arts Project, which helps music artists book gigs in Indianapolis. 

“They were instrumental with gigs being able to come back to Indianapolis during the summer,” Smith said. 

Smith said he was recommended for the event by Mark Buselli, Ball State professor of music performance in jazz studies, who had worked with the producer involved in the series on previous projects.

“When they asked If I knew any good students, I jumped at the opportunity,” Buselli said.

He said he felt confident offering Smith the performance spot because of his musical ability and reliability.

“[Smith] did a fantastic job taking care of all details that go into getting people on stage, rehearsed, dressed and paid,” Buselli said.

The Jacob Smith Quartet performed June 4 with songs from the Great American Songbook to a socially distanced audience.

Before the performance, Kosla said he was most looking forward to “giving a high-energy performance that people can really enjoy.”

Contact Iris Tello with comments at idtello@bsu.edu or on Twitter @idtello98.

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