Full of rhythm and synchronized tunes, the Fullerton College Jazz Band and J Train performed at the Fullerton College Campus Theatre for a night of relaxation and entertainment during finals week.
The Fullerton College Fine Arts Division held an exciting evening of instrumental and vocal jazz music on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30 P.M. It was led by Fullerton College’s very own jazz band and vocal jazz group.
The Fullerton College Big Band was directed by Bruce Babad, professor of jazz studies at Fullerton College. Babad conducted for the 17 jazz musicians during the event.
“This is not big-band music like you’re used to,” Babad said when describing the piece composed by Joey Sellers. “This is big band music of the future.”
One of the first songs performed was a piece titled “Just Before Dawn,” which touched the hearts of many audience members. It was an altered version of its original composition and was created to be driven with emotion. The arranger of the piece was in the audience.
Jazz solos are also vital in a jazz concert and this event definitely did not disappoint. From the sax solos to the trombone solos, authenticity and excitement was present.
Babad enjoyed challenging the student musicians by using a variety of methods.
“I try to keep them on their toes so I keep throwing new music at them,” he said.
He wasn’t joking as he explained that one the songs performed during the event was only their third time playing it, but was very proud of the fantastic results at the end.
The other half of the spotlight during the event was set on J Train, a Fullerton College jazz vocal group that performed both accompanied and a cappella during the event.
The vocal jazz group consistently performed in sync to the instrumental accompaniments and to each other during the entirety of the event.
One of the first few songs performed was titled “Roller coaster,” which was adapted and arranged by Kerry Marsh.
“They thought I was joking when I asked them if they wanted to do a Justin Bieber cover,” said Jamie Shew, director of vocal jazz at Fullerton College. “It was actually a great arrangement.”
The J Train also won the hearts of the audience with their performance titled “When October Goes”.
“My favorite song of the evening is definitely ‘When October Goes’,” said Vanessa Loera, Fullerton College student majoring in Pre-Nursing. “It was really beautiful and perfectly harmonized.”
The piece is a ballad by Johnny Mercer and Berry Manilow that dates back to the 1980s. It also appeared to be a hit with the audience.
For more information on future events and tickets, you can visit the Fine Arts Division website here.