Jazz concert spans range of eras

Tuesday night, the Jazzfunkbluesrocklatin­or’n’bband performed several funky tunes. One of these jazzy numbers was “Que Bossa,” which was written by Jack Peterson. This jam included a drum solo by Bonita High senior Waleed Rashidi. He was accompanied by senior Alex Martinez on bass and junior Mario Lopez on guitar. / photo by Brian Murphy
Tuesday night, the Jazzfunkbluesrocklatin­or’n’bband performed several funky tunes. One of these jazzy numbers was “Que Bossa,” which was written by Jack Peterson. This jam included a drum solo by Bonita High senior Waleed Rashidi. He was accompanied by senior Alex Martinez on bass and junior Mario Lopez on guitar. / photo by Brian Murphy

by Bonnie H. Chuen
Staff Writer

With the words, “Let’s do it,” six student musicians and their director, Dr. Reed Gratz, professor of music, marched up the stairs behind the stage of the Founders Auditorium and picked up their instruments in order to begin the first song of the University of La Verne jazz concert called Jazz­blues­funkrock­latin­or’n’­bband.

The concert began at 8 p.m. and the band played for approximately an hour. They played eight songs of various types of jazz from different eras. The concert was kicked off with the song “Sleepy Lulu” by Jack Peterson, which, according to Dr. Gratz, represented traditional jazz.

Within his introduction of the band Dr. Gratz also described what kind of jazz the group would be playing and what specific songs they would be accentuating.

The program was then followed by “Sack o’ Woe” by Nat Adderly; “Que Bossa” by Jack Peterson; “Killer Joe” by Benny Golson; “Kokomo Joe” by Benny Golson; “She Could be Mine” by Dave Grusin; “Groovy” by Jack Peterson; and “Crescent Bay” written by Dr. Gratz.

According to Gratz, there were a lot of improvisations from the individual musicians during their solos, and this allowed them to add their own creativity to the process.

“You can still hear the melody of the song in between the individual solos,” he said.

The different types of jazz played at the concert ranged from traditional jazz, to funk, to a bossa nova.

The jazz band is created on a semester basis and prepares for this concert from the very beginning. The band is made up of five University of La Verne students and one student from Bonita High School.

Member of the group include senior Suzanne Hamlin, piano; junior Mario Lopez, guitar; senior Alex Martinez, bass; Bonita High School senior Waleed Rashidi, drums; sophomore Rob Strauss, trombone; and freshman Anthony Loriso, trombone.

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