The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Big sound in the Little Theatre

Stage Lights Rise and begin to twinkle off the brass. Rows of musicians await their cue. The black tuxedo-dressed conductor stands patiently at his podium. Band members take their positions,
poised with their hands at the ready. In a smooth jazz fashion, the baton waves, and the melodies start flowing from instruments through the audience.

On March 19, a stormy night, the members of the Sacramento City College Jazz Band took to their rows of positioned chairs and brought to life the live street music of New Orleans at the Little Theatre on campus.

The instruments playing together in silky harmonics made the audience understand that this band knew its jazz. Each first chair soloist from saxophone to the drums took his or her turn showcasing what he or she has practiced all semester, hitting every note and being rewarded with applause.

With a flash, bam and alakazam, saxophones, trombones and percussion filled the room with a big sound. The compositions from the likes of Herbie Hancock to Orange Colored Sky gave the feeling of listening to music live from the streets of New Orleans.

Jazz admirers were impressed with the level of skill of the band.

Robert Rudolph, 55, whistled and applauded throughout the performance. Rudolph says the music took him back to when he visited the birthplace of this particular style of jazz, New Orleans.

“I’m a jazz enthusiast, and I’m really surprised with their level of expertise,” Rudolph says. “You never know—there might be a Wynton Marsalis out there in the group.”

Sitting next to Rudolph was Ann Jones, 48. This was Jones’ fi rst time attending a jazz performance at City College, but she says it won’t be her last.

“I was really blown away,” Jones says. “I just really love jazz.”

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“It’s the most original music to me,” Knable says. “As far as American music goes, it’s our only true original art form. I take a lot of pride in that.”

Taking a seat after the show on the audience’s side, Knable reminisced about his past and his love for jazz.

“My father played jazz violin,” Knable says. “He turned me on to jazz when I was a kid, and I’ve loved it ever since.”

Just as jazz is created with an eclectic variety of notes, the City College Jazz Band is made up of a wide variety of people.

“ There’s a wide range of ages and backgrounds,” Knable says. “Some students are day students that are working on music degrees, others are community members and a few have worked professionally.”

Jonathan Castillo, 24, a graduate from Sacramento State, heard about the performance in a local newspaper and brought along his girlfriend.

“Jazz is moving,” Castillo says. “It’s hard to stay still in your seat because you’re feeling everything.”

Castillo says the genre has a way of realizing emotion unlike other types of music.

“It’s an emotional experience,” Castillo  says. “That’s what jazz is—it’s life.”

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