Hep-cats cool Coffman down with jazz grooves

by Robin Huiras

The swinging sounds of jazz reverberated against the halls of Coffman Union Wednesday afternoon as the Jaztronauts sparked light jigs and bright smiles among spectators.
The four self-proclaimed hipsters’ performance at the University attracted a crowd of about 35.
“The music fits well with putting a brighter spot into people’s day,” said Rachel Leatham, Minneapolis student union coordinator.
The noontime performance series, in which the Jaztronauts took part, regularly attracts students, staff and faculty hanging out in the union.
“I was passing by, heard music and came to enjoy it,” said Kiran Bhadriraju, a jazz enthusiast and biomedical engineering graduate student.
The jazz ensemble is comprised of two brothers, Joe “Joey” Weismann and Jason “Buddy” Weismann, Jason “Lingo” Lingle and Vincent “Vinny” Voelz. Thrown together through twists of fate and relativity, the men began performing as a group in November.
This was their first show as a band at the University.
“I’ve done this before, heard it was continuing, so we called the dude,” said Voelz, a fifth-year student studying jazz at the University.
The “dude” is Ed Munafo, program advisor to the Whole Music Club. Munafo leads the Coffmann Program Council in planning and organizing the events. The noontime events allow students aspiring to work in the music industry to get their feet wet, Leatham said.
The 150 students constituting the council book more than 600 concerts a year. This year they built a reputation by bumping up the caliber of the performers, Leatham said.
This high caliber rings true with the music of the Jaztronauts. They declare the leopard-spotted, velvet-coated sound guarantees the emergence of the closet swinger in everyone.
Words like “swankerific, swingtastic and swelligent” jump out of the mouths of the jazzicians at a steady pace. Similar to their music, this lingo doesn’t miss a beat.
Performing at the union to increase their popularity, Jason Weismann said they want to bring all of the cats and kittens into the “swingisphere.”
The Jaztronauts perform regularly at the Minnesota Music Cafe and are tentatively scheduled to perform live on KLBB radio.