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SCPA’S JAZZ ENSEMBLES SHOWCASE THEIR TALENT AT DIZZY’S

Arielle Santos and Alexandria Ramos

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Dizzy’s concert was held in the Musician’s Union Hall on Friday, March 23, 2018. John Reynolds, a music teacher at SCPA, was in charge of the entire performance, choosing the pieces and helping the students prepare for the concert.

 

Reynolds says, “They’ve been preparing for this concert for about three months now. The process of preparation is a little different depending on the group level. The Ellington Ensemble is the more experienced group, so their level of preparation and individual preparation is usually pretty high, so we work on a lot of different things like nuance, balance, and improvisation between songs. The Latin Jazz Ensemble, because they’re younger and less experienced, we spend a lot of time dealing with notes, rhythm, and intonation.” Reynolds states that he chooses pieces by figuring out where the strengths are in each ensemble, then plays to those strengths. He also adds that he does his best to try to involve as many people in every tune as possible.

 

That Friday night was the Latin Jazz Ensemble’s first concert. Sophomore, Christopher Guerra plays the bass in the group. He explained that he felt prepared for the concert. “I’ve been practicing hardcore for the past few months. I’m feeling excited. I’m ready to play.” He also expressed that his favorite piece, “Fungii Mama,” meant a lot to him personally.

Dr. John Reynolds with the Latin Jazz Ensemble

 

8th grade upright bass player, John Murray, expresses his fondness of jazz.“I like jazz because of the freedom of the music,” he says. “It’s not like classical music where you’re tied down to the notes. You can play whatever you really want to as long as it sounds good,” He says he was prepared to play, and he wishes to improve on memorizing songs because he believes that you can play more efficiently when you don’t have music in front of you. Unlike Murray, junior Jocel Centino who plays the trombone, felt unprepared. “I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s whatever. I just feel like it’s another concert. I’m gonna mess up. I’m gonna do great. I’m fine.” Sophomore drummer, Defarest Files reveals after the concert, “Jocel forgot his solo at the end, but he covered it up so it’s all good.” 

Dr. Reynolds with the Ellington Jazz Ensemble

 

Two members of the Ellington Ensemble, Joshua Gallardo and Enrique Espinoza play the trumpet and both believe they could generally improve as musicians by bettering their abilities to sight read as well as their range. Besides that, both felt pretty good about the concert.

 

The songs played by the Ellington Ensemble were “Boy Meets Horn,”  “Movin’ Uptown,” “I Ain’t Got Nothin but the Blues,” “Moon Over Cuba,” “Jack the Bear,” and “Chinoiserie.” The Latin Jazz Ensemble played “A Day in the Life of a Fool,” “Fungii Mama,” “La Almeja Pequeña,” and “One Mint Julep.”

 

Alto saxophone and clarinet player, Tiger Diep, who is a junior here at SCPA, believes out of the songs his ensemble played that night, “Chinoiserie” was his favorite.“It get really intense and really loud,” he explains. Murray tells us, “I like ‘Moving Uptown’ because it’s an uptempo swing. It’s a difficult piece, which I like, because I like to have a challenge.” Espinoza’s favorite piece was “I Ain’t Got Nothin’ but the Blues” because it’s really slow, and he likes that church vibe it has.

 

Diep adds, “I think the concert went really well. There was a lot of good music, and I saw the audience was digging it.” He communicates his gratitude towards Dr. Reynolds, mentioning he felt prepared for the concert because of how great of a teacher he is.

 

We’re looking forward to our talented jazz ensembles’  upcoming performances!

 

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SCPA’S JAZZ ENSEMBLES SHOWCASE THEIR TALENT AT DIZZY’S