By Brooke Gemina
PeruJazz received a standing ovation and demands for an encore after its performance Friday night in the S2 Recital Hall.
The band dove right into performing after Robert Dawson, who is the Music Department Chair, introduced them.
“I had to write a letter to Lima, (Peru),” Dawson said.
PeruJazz is an underwritten band, meaning that the Peruvian government subsidizes their income. Dawson wrote a letter to Lima outlining what the event would be, what it was for and even the demographic makeup of the East Los Angeles College community.
He has corresponded through phone calls since May in order to procure the band. PeruJazz band members include Jean Pieere Magnet who plays the tenor and soprano saxophone.
Andres Prado plays a Peruvian electric guitar. Julio Zavala plays six string Ibanez bass, Monongo Mujica on drums, and Cesar Ballumbrosio as the percussionist.
“I wanted to show the students Peru’s take on jazz,” Dawson said.
“Tren” beautifully illustrated the image of a train barreling down the tracks. It was by far, one of their best songs.
Mujica came from behind his drum set to another flat grey one on the floor. Mujica pounded the drum hard with his sticks in a rhythm that replicates the familiar “chugga chugga” sound of a train as its wheels roll over the track.
Magnet’s timing synced and demonstrated a new sound that his saxophone was capable of as a train’s horn filled the recital hall.
“King Kong” embodied the timelessness of the classic and matched the urgent danger associated with the primate’s attacks.
The song starts off soft with the usage of sound effects such as birds chirping, and Ballumbrosio gently running his hands through the ritual seed pods which mimics the early morning static feel. This mirrors the very calm, average day vibe that starts with older monster films.
Magnet’s late start playing his saxophone helps to set the timing. It also helps to build up for when the cymbals start going for that clash and crash.
The song’s beat changes to a one two three four, one two three four, one two three, four pace which conveys King Kong’s arrival on the screen. Their performances allowed audiences to drift off as the music fell into a repetitive and lulling place.
However, the moment listeners noticed they were drifting, the band snatched them back with additional instruments and surprise sounds.
Ballumbrosio caught audience’s attention when he came out from behind his conga drums and began to tap dance front stage as his band mates played in response.
He then proceeded to use his lower stomach and knees as makeshift drums. Zavala, the newest band member expressed his excitement to be a part of PeruJazz.
“PeruJazz, in my country, is like The Rolling Stones. Now I’m part of The Rolling Stones,” Zavala said.
Proceeds for the concert will go to Peru as a part of the deal Dawson reached with their government.
Nearly 200 people attended the concert.