CS Student Sam Kalkman Quoted in ABC10 News Story

The Michigan Tech waterfront campus

From ABC 10 News; Published April 4, 2024

Jazz and video games have been around for many years, existing much at the same time. The earliest jazz recordings from New Orleans have been played since the 1920’s. Then, in 1958 Physicist William Higinbotham created a very simple tennis game at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. However, he never filed a patent for his invention. Video games and jazz music have an interesting history with some of the earliest popular arcade games including technology-influenced jazz soundtracks, says Computer Science student Sam Kalkman

“The first one is the style of music that’s often in video games happens to be like somewhat repetitive or having like AABA forms that lend really well to a big band setting. Especially with older games, they had a lot of jazz influence on them and it just translates to what we’re doing really well. The second main thing is I think it’s just kind of modern pop music too. A lot of people know this music and it just attracts a lot of people to our concerts. It is very fun for us to play its music from our childhood, from our lives, and it’s just a big part of our culture.” – Sam Kalkman, Computer Science Major, Michigan Technological University

Tomorrow night the Michigan Tech Jazz Band will perform on the Rozsa center stage for their annual Video Game Jazz Ensemble. The yearly concert is the group’s largest concert each season. Thanks in part to the cast of students taking the stage, classic video game tunes, and date toward the end of the year. Sound Design student Aidan Conrade says that the campus and community look forward to the concert as a great way to have some fun before exams.

“I think definitely being on a college campus with a bunch of people who play video games helps a lot. People see that and they see game music that they recognize and that they really enjoy and that brings a lot of people in. But also since we normally hold this towards the end of the semester, it’s something to do on the last weekend or two weekends before final exams to have a little bit of fun.” – Aidan Conrade, Sound Design Major, Michigan Technological University

Aidan and Sam have prepared two arrangements for the evening’s entertainment. Both are leaders in the student run Video Game Jazz Ensemble at Michigan Tech. Tomorrow night’s performance will begin at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the concert cost 15 dollars and are included in the pay-as-you-are-able program. Find more details about the concert here, or purchase tickets here.