Jazz Band Conjures a Variety of Moods

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Love at first song? That is exactly the feeling Glendale College Jazz Band brought to an audience on Sunday night at the GCC Auditorium.

The band played a variety of tunes, each song creating a different mood.
The concert started with “This Space for Rent” by Jeff Bunnell followed by the suspenseful tune of “Cajun Cookin.”

The second song proved to be heart-capturing with its sound.
Vocalist Nalini Lasiewicz sang “When Sunny Gets Blue.”

The audience got to participate by snapping to the rhythm of the trio “Fever,” performed by vocalist Diane Wallace, accompanied by Kendall Wallace playing the trumpet and Rob Gallagher, bass.

Wallace also performed “I Got It Bad,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “Embraceable You.” The romantic tunes allowed Wallace to remind the audience the true essence of jazz.

New band member Bob Crosby captured the audience with the saxophone while playing “If You Don’t Know Me by Now.”

“Funky Cha-Cha” was an evidence of Latin influence on today’s jazz music.

The piece “Lime House Blues,” was the last performance of the night.
Trumpet and vibraphone player Harry Smallenburg performed “Bonehead” with trombone player Gabino Varela.

Smallenburg is an English Professor met his wife Leanne Powers, playing baritone, in the band.

This love of music and jazz has brought the band members together with ages ranging from 18 to 77.

Bill Highland, 77, professional pianist, said the band is wonderful because it provides a lot of learning experience.

Director Raymond Burkhart has been instructing at the college for seven years and said that a benefit of being a director is getting to pick the songs.

Burkhart said, “I’m the leader and I get to pick.”

More than half of the seats in the audience were full the night of the performance.

Burkhart said, “My mission will be done when every seat and isle in the audience is full.”

The band meets to practice every Tuesday night. Guitarist, Tim Turner, 18, music major said, “It’s like a concert every time we practice.”

Adam Johnson, 20, music major has been with the GCC Jazz band for two years.
“Jazz is the American art form. It makes the world feel better,” said Johnson.

The Glendale College Jazz Band will have an upcoming concert on June 8.