By Dulce Carillo
Smooth urban jazz music and laughs from Bob Dawson’s jokes were what came to be from the First Friday Jazz Concert at the Recital Hall in S2.
The East Los Angeles Jazz Quintet are five incredible musicians who have known each other for years and call each other brothers that headlined the semester’s first concert event. Justo Almario plays the sax and clarinet, Ramon Banda, drums, Guillermo Guzman, bass, David Torres, piano and Music Department Chairman, Bob Dawson the trombone.
These five musicians played 10 songs that were written by Almario and another by Ernesto Lecuona. Each song had its own story that expressed love and unity with their urban jazz style. Even though they only had six instruments, they brought in great rhythm. They started off with “Black Nile” which introduced each musician with their own solo.
Then to spice it up, they played “Psycho Phunk” which had some ’80s beat and also sounded similar to the famous disco hit Funkytown. Suddenly with some pumping rhythm, the “Salvation Army” got the audience to nod their heads, snapping their fingers and wanting for more music.
To end the concert, the group performed “Lady is a tramp” which Bob Dawson jokingly said was not dedicated to his wife, which brought laughter to the audience. “We made David wash his hands before he touched the piano,” Dawson joked when he was mentioning about the $40,000 piano that the ELAC music department received.
Dawson also mentioned that the recital hall located in the S2 building, has its very own recording studio that may interest students who aspire to become musicians. Between songs, Dawson added that the recital hall is designed in similar fashion to Disney Hall and it produces a great acoustic sound.
Last year the music department hosted a total of three concerts since opening. The department hopes that events such as this one will draw students who have a musical interest into its classes and future events, as it will be hosting concerts once a month.
Mambo Rama, a nine to 10 piece jazz group that was nominated for a Grammy this year, will be performing on March 2. The department plans to host several events this year that will include theatre performances and concert events at the Performing and Fine Arts Center.
“Make your money worth something,” said Dawson in reference to the fact that each and every student at ELAC funds the center.