Cal Poly Fall Jazz Concert
DateNov 17, 2023
Event Starts7:30 PM
Doors Open30 minutes prior
The Fall Jazz Concert is the season opener for Cal Poly’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, University Jazz Band and Combos.
The Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Inga Swearingen, will sing a variety of a cappella tunes, plus arrangements with piano and bass accompaniment. “The students chose what they wanted to perform for this concert,” said Swearingen. “Many of these talented singers come from excellent high school music programs that exposed them to vocal jazz and the thrill of singing tight harmonies.”
The group will perform Kerry Marsh’s up-tempo samba arrangement of Jule Styne’s standard “Time After Time”; “It Had To Be You/You Made Me Love You,” set by brothers Adam and Matt Podd which combines two classic, similarly themed jazz tunes into a breezy, back-and-forth swing arrangement; and an arrangement of J. Fred Coots’ “For All We Know” by Peter Eldridge and Darmon Meader that was made popular by their group, the New York Voices.
Music major Marina Lepe is a member of the vocal jazz group and big band. “Playing in both groups has allowed me to pursue my various musical interests and enhancing my skill set,” she said. “As a trombonist I was initially hesitant to join a vocal group, but it has advanced my musicianship, expanded my understanding of jazz, and given me the opportunity to be in a close-knit ensemble of joyful individuals. I find myself applying lessons learned in one group to the other.”
The jazz combos — small ensembles — will be led by Dylan Johnson. “It’s so rewarding to see the students learning how to communicate with each other musically after being so isolated during the pandemic,” Johnson said. “My goal is to prepare them for the professional opportunities that they will encounter as musicians. If I can hire or recommend them for gigs, I’ve done my job.” The combos will perform jazz classics as well as more current repertory.
The University Jazz Band directed by Dave Becker will close the program with classic big band arrangements by Sammy Nestico, Frank Foster and Bill Holman, as well as new young award-winning composers. “This year’s band has a great mix of seasoned veterans as well as a crop of new talented first-time students,” Becker said. “I’m excited to be working with these talented musicians. I see their potential to be stratospheric!”
Tenor saxophonist James Pettis, a senior mechanical engineering major and music minor, is graduating in December. “The jazz band has been my favorite extracurricular throughout my time at Cal Poly,” he said. “It has helped me keep jazz in my life while working on my engineering degree.”
The event is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program.