Trying to squeeze into the recital hall Thursday night for the sold-out jazz show posed a challenge as the audience filled the recital hall, eager to see the Jazz Combo perform original student-written pieces, the Jazz Band featuring special guest artist Aubrey Logan and the vocal jazz group, Polytonix.

The Jazz Band performed a seven-piece lineup with an additional encore song with Logan doubling as a vocalist and a trombone soloist.

Logan, often referred to as “the Queen of Sass,” is famous for playing the trombone, writing and singing her own pieces and adding her own twist on covers of songs.

“Her debut album, ‘Impossible,’ immediately shot to the top 10 on the iTunes, Billboard and Amazon charts,” the music department program stated. “Aubrey Logan has performed more than 250 shows since 2016.

“Besides countless dates touring as a guest star with Postmodern Jukebox and another nationwide tour with Dave Koz and his all-star lineup, Aubrey has been selling out her own shows in venues all over the U.S. and Europe.”

The Jazz Band consisted of Morgan Semrau as a vocalist, five trumpets, an eight-person rhythm section, five trombones and five woodwind players including alto saxophones, tenor saxophones, a flute and a baritone saxophonist also doubling on flute.

“I loved the passion of all the performers,” said second-year animal science student Adrienne De Leon. “Specifically, Aubrey. Her vocals, her trombone playing, it was killer, everything was killer.”

The CPP jazz show featured a number of student-written compositions, special guest artist Aubrey Logan and a vocal jazz group. (Christina Manuel | The Poly Post)

The Jazz Combo consisted of two groups directed by Jeff Miley. The first group performed “Afro Blue” by Mongo Santamaria, “Bluesette” by Toots Thielmans, “Nature Boy” by Eden Ahbez and “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to” by Cole Porter.

The second Jazz Combo group performed pieces written only by Cal Poly Pomona students including “NuNu” by Matthew Martino, fourth-year zoology student, “Cotton Candy” by Jeffery Sweede, third-year business student and “Saw the News Today” by Aaron Agrawal, fourth-year music industry studies student.

Agrawal described that his original piece, “Saw the News Today,” is based on the never-ending tragedies of mass shootings and violence plaguing the nation today.

“I just had all of these feelings, all of these emotions, anger, frustrations about how the world is,” Agrawal said.

“This is just like, a piece that’s my reaction to every tragedy that has happened. It seems like every day there’s another tragedy.”

Agrawal describes that his piece is unique in the way that it carries a dissonant sound throughout to capture the feeling about the violence and tension today and does not resolve on the root chord, just as the problems today are left unresolved.

Different to Agrawal’s piece, Martino had a different approach to writing his piece “Nunu.”

“I wanted the A section to sound much different than the B section,” Martino said.

“This is why you hear the A section as a darker, minor sound, only to transition into the cheerier sound of the B section. This pattern repeats throughout the chords of the song and I think it makes the song interesting and fun to improvise over.”

Polytonix, directed by Kendra Vux, performed three vocal pieces: “Greatest Showman Medley,” arranged by Nathan Wood; “But Beautiful” by Jimmy Van Heusen and arranged by Yuko Maruyama; and “Sweet Georgia Brown,” arranged by Greg Jasperse.

The group featured a cappella singing and scat singing, which is the improvisation of singing syllables without words.

Interestingly, the ticket prices for the jazz concert were doubled for general admission from the regular price of $10 to $20.

Prices for students with a valid Bronco ID remained at $10.

For more information on future shows, visit the music department website at

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