The sounds of jazz filled the Music Recital Hall on Oct. 17 for this year’s first Cal Poly Pomona Jazz Concert. The full-house crowd of supportive friends, family, students and faculty enjoyed the energetic, fun and soulful jazz performance and wanted an encore.
The fall jazz concert featured the groups the Polytonix Jazz Vocals, Jazz Combos and the Jazz Band.
This highly anticipated concert has been in the works for the whole semester. The Jazz Band has been preparing for this concert since late August when classes had started, according to Jazz Band director David Kopplin.
First to perform were the Polytonix Jazz Vocals. The director of the Polytonix, John Proulx, is in his first year here at CPP and has a completely new group.
“Polytonix is a brand-new group of seven singers,” Proulx said. “We’ve only had around six rehearsals so far this semester.”
But despite being a new group, the Polytonix started the concert strong with their song “Art’s Groove” by Steve Allee and arranged by former teacher, Jennifer Barnes.
The group showed the crowd its a cappella skills one by one with each singer’s own solo and altogether they impressed the crowd with their vocals.
Following the Polytonix were the Jazz Combos directed by Jeff Miley. There were two groups featured during this section of the concert.
The first jazz combo to perform included two student vocalists, Jevon McGlory and Raquel Ramierez.
With vocalist Ramierez, the group next preformed the popular songs “Cry Me a River” by Arthur Hamilton and “Route 66” by Bobby Troup.
The first jazz combo closed with “Song for My Father” by Horace Silver. Vocalist McGlory dedicated this song to his father who passed away two weeks ago.
The next group followed immediately after with fun, comedic pieces that left the crowd laughing.
With the musical piece “All the Things You Are” by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, the band tricked the crowd into believing the song had ended with a brief pause, which lead a few audience members to clap a little too early.
The group continued the song after misleading the audience and continued with some comical musical sounds as it concluded the song.
The jazz combo ended with the song “The Chicken” by Pee Wee Ellis. For this number, the pianist, Jeffrey Sweede, brought out a keytar, or an electric keyboard guitar.
Sweede improvised his own solos into the song and shared a solo with saxophonist Matt Martino where they went back and forth, taking turns playing. Sweede cleverly ended the song with the McDonalds jingle, which made everyone laugh.
After the jazz combos and intermission, the Jazz Band took the stage.
Student vocalist Jasmine Diaz accompanied the first song performed. She sang “After the Rain” by Sammy Nestico with the band. This energetic song had the crowd clapping along to the beat.
After this song, David Kopplin, director of the Jazz Band, introduced the featured guest of the concert, Keith Fiddmont.
Fiddmont is a world-renowned saxophonist who has performed with the award-winning group Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra for 20 years. He has also recorded with many well-known artists, such as Queen Latifah and Gladys Knight. He is now the director of jazz studies at Santa Monica College.
The band began to play the theme of the night: the Music of Wayne Shorter.
The big band played a wide variety of songs, from the soft melody of “Miyako” to “Yes or No” which Director Kopplin describes as “fast and furious.” All songs featured Fiddmont’s solos as well as student musicians.
After the last song, the band took a bow to a roaring audience that wanted an encore and waited for more. But Kopplin sadly told the crowd that the band had no more music. Instead, he encouraged everyone to come out to the next jazz concert.
The next CPP Jazz Concert will be held on Dec. 5.
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