Jazz emsembles play at fest

Shaun Mulroy

Jazz was in the ‘ear’ March 6 as City College and Jazz88 hosted 21 area bands for the 6th Annual Student Jazz Festival.

The Saville Theater, City’s television studio and C-211 were sites for the brief sets. Most bands and combos played 3 songs. Afterwards, the groups received input and instruction from local musicians and instructors.

Using this clinic-style format, the bands were given an idea what preparation would be needed for upcoming festivals. At Saville Theatre, Bill Yeager, SDSU director of Jazz Studies, Bruce Babad, Fullerton College Director of Jazz Studies and Mike Holguin a professional drummer, were on hand to offer their experience.

Also performing with the Palomar College Jazz Ensemble, directed by Steve Steinberg, was saxophonist Bob Mintzer. Mintzer is a member of the Grammy award winning band “Yellowjackets.” After his performance, he held a Masters Class on improvisation for saxophonists.

“Everything was bigger at the festival this year,” Steve Steinberg, CMEA coordinator, explained. “There were more bands (and) Bob Mintzer. (It was) very successful.”

With spring and summer festivals about to begin, this access to professionals is invaluable. The Fullerton College Jazz festival is March 26 and 27 and The Coronado Jazz Festival is May 15.

“From the comments by the students, they loved the feedback,” Steinberg noted. “They can take that input and go on to perform at these festivals.”

The festival footage will be broadcast on local channel 16.