The Latin Jazz Ensemble Flies to the Moon


Photo by: Gisella Luna

Latin jazz ensemble performs “Soul Sauce (Guachi Guara)” by, Dizzy Gillespie/Chano Pozo, with special guests, Kevin Cearley (trumpet), and Ron Catalano (saxophone)

Story By: Gisella Luna, Reporter

The division of fine, performing and communication arts performed their Latin Jazz ensemble, Jazz singers and Jazz combos concert at Fresno City College on Tuesday, March 12 in the theatre to an audience of enthusiastic music lovers.

The performance was a collection of different jazz musicians from FCC’s music department with a couple special guests. The night was intended to be uplifting and fun.

And uplifting and fun it was. As soon as the doors open you are greeted by students and staff with a program and any information you need. As you walk into the theater the stage is lit up with blue and purple lights and a still image of “Jazz Bubbles” shining onto the inner walls of the stage.

There are instruments of all kinds from a piano, a bass, a drum set and a saxophone in the middle of the stage surrounded by microphones, music stands, speakers and lots of wires.

The show started at 7:30 p.m. When doors opened at seven there was already a line of 10 people waiting to go in. By 7:20 the theater was comfortably filled with families, friends and supporters. When the show started, the director of jazz studies, Paul Lucckesi, stepped on stage greeted the audience and gave information about future concerts happening at FCC.

The opening performance was put on by the jazz combo, performing songs like “West Coast Blues” by Wes Montgomery and “Bye Bye Blackbird” by Ray Henderson/Mort Dixon. The first saxophone solo drew thunderous applause.

The set changes could have used a little house music to make the theater less quiet and awkward but once the band was ready and started performing it made up for it. When the jazz singers came out with their band, they were ready to show off their vocals and were in great harmony.

Nhi Nguyen, a singer from the group, sang “ Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, along with the band, which gave the jazz singers’ performance a sweet and lighthearted ending.

The concert’s end left you wanting to jump up and grab a dancing partner. The conductor, George Ramirez, was very excited to show the audience. “This is gonna be fun, hang on to your seats,” Ramirez said, as they performed music that made you feel like you were in Cuba singing and dancing with the street musicians.