The Queen’s Head Pub offered up both beer and jazz last Friday at pianist Malcolm G. Campbell’s ’10 two-set concert,
The Queen’s Head Pub offered up both beer and jazz last Friday at pianist Malcolm G. Campbell’s ’10 two-set concert, featuring saxophonists Kazemde A. George ’12 and special guest alumnus Marcus G. Miller ’08, along with students from neighboring music schools.
Campbell is the first student to pursue a joint degree at Harvard and the New England Conservatory in jazz performance, where his teachers include Grammy-winning pianist Danilo Perez. After five years of study, Campbell, who lives in Quincy House and bikes to NEC three days a week, will have a master’s degree from NEC and a Harvard undergraduate degree in physics.
“Malcolm is one of those people who’s involved in everything,” says Thomas G. Everett, the Harvard director of jazz bands. “He’s like a musical sponge.” Campbell plays in multiple music ensembles, including Kuumba, has recorded for the student-run record label Veritas Records, and works in a physics lab.
Campbell sees his interests in both music and the sciences as an advantage. “Taking a break from practicing to think about some difficult physics problem really helps me stay productive because I’m not worn out from playing all the time,” he says.
During his concert, Campbell was all smiles. “He’s sort of quiet and respectful, but there’s a real creativity and exuberance in his playing,” NEC Chair of Jazz Studies Ken Schaphorst says. “Another part of his personality comes out.” Campbell also feeds off the energy of his fellow musicians. “He takes everyone’s styles and uses them,” attendee Christopher M. Krogslund ’09 says.
Despite having played at venues like Carnegie Hall in high school ensembles, Campbell also views his small self-orchestrated gigs as major accomplishments. “Even though I wouldn’t list playing at the Queen’s Head on my career resumé, I’m almost more proud of making my own opportunities.”