By: Jorge Vazquez
Upon entering the S2 building, the 17 members of the ELAC Jazz Band were already playing with conductor and director Bob Dawson.
Though the Jazz performance was free, patrons were encouraged to donate to the music program afterwards. The band also had their 2 CDs for sale at $5 each, buyers could choose from the Eastside Jazz album or their seasonal Christmas album.
Despite never being to that venue, the ELAC Jazz Band was welcoming to regulars and newcomers alike.
The set consisted of 13 songs with playful, well-spirited banter with the audience between songs. They played covers of such artists as Bob Florence, The Beatles, Tower of Power and Thelonious Monk.
The song “Round Midnight” by Monk was faithfully recreated by the band. They managed to capture Monk’s unusual style and rhythm oriented solos.
For their performance of “Fool on the Hill” by The Beatles, Tenor sax, Arturo Gallardo showed off his versatility by playing the flute portion of the song.
The show ultimately lasted two hours and at the end, Dawson announced his possible retirement and possible successor, trumpet player Bobby Chavez.
After the announcement, Chavez showed his musical talent by taking lead in the second to last performance, “Black Orpheus,” originally by Luiz Bonfa.
Throughout the concert, musicians that took lead on a song stood up while the rest of the band sat.
The band would play lower to amplify the passion filled solo that would receive a well deserved applause.
This made the visually predominant musician(s) for all the songs seem more powerful and lively.
Pianist Stephen Alvarez along with tenors Ivan Romero Bautista and Arturo Gallardo are three of the younger members who are part of the applied music program at ELAC that allowed them to gain their musical experience.
Two of the applied music teachers Justo Almario, saxophone, and Steve Goomas, piano attended the performance in support of their pupils.
The next performance held in the S2 hall is an ELAC Student Piano Recital scheduled for Monday, May at noon, which will be free as well.