Latin Jazz Ensemble brings life to FCC Theater

November 7, 2017

The FCC Latin Jazz Ensemble had a performance on Oct. 24th at the FCC Theatre.

This Latin Jazz Ensemble started off with a piece from composer David Torres. This particular piece changed to a very fast tempo within the first couple of seconds. Drums were played by Edgar Mascareno overtook for a couple of seconds.

The second piece they played is called “Dance of Denial”  by Michael Mossman. This piece had an Afro-Cuban style that made the audience dance in their seats.

There was a great drum solo played by Mascareno and the congas shined through the music, which were played Salim Abdala.

“Generally you can see a lot of different instruments,” says Ramirez.  “We have a lot more percussion instruments— instruments that are kind of unique to Latin groups.”

Ramirez added: “One thing we try to emphasize is to get the crowd dancing, even the way the group moves, because if the audience sees the musicians move, it makes them feel like they can do that too.”

The ensemble started off with the blue combo playing. It consisted of: Chris Degeneres on the alto sax, Savannah Gonzalez on tenor, Ron Ronat on trombone, Junior Morales and Zach Gamez on guitar.

The blue combo began the ensemble by performing “Blue Blossom” by Kenny Dorham. The instruments that were played during this performance were alto, trombone, piano, and the tenor. The piece started out with a piano solo, by Andrew Esquer.

The trombone began to play shorty after the piano solo ended, making the transition between the two sounds remarkably breathtaking.

The next piece was called “Horse Silver” by Jody Grind and it also started out with a piano solo that was followed by the tenor sax, immediately accompanied by another piano solo.  The sound was different than the first piece that was played; a faster tempo.

The Red Combo performed right after the Blue Combo. This group consisted of Chris Estrada on the alto sax, John Truijillo on the flute, Jack Landeseadel on Trombone, and Matt Baradat, Karlo Rocha and Salvador Jimenez on guitar.

The Red Combo Jazz Ensemble performed a piece by Billy, arguably considered to be one of his signature tones. There was also a piano substitution during this piece.

“Most of our Latin stuff comes from dances,” says Latin Jazz Ensemble director George Ramirez. “Jazz was the popular dance music a while back, but mainly a lot of instruments have a different kind of vibe to them. It’s not like one’s better than the other, it’s just a whole different thing.”  


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