Fresno City College Host its 30th Annual City’s Jazz Fest


Photo by: Samantha Morales

FCC Jazz ensemble performing with Eva Scow

Fresno City College hosted their 30th Annual City’s Jazz Fest on March 17, which allowed for a multitude of schools to come to FCC to perform pieces from the Jazz genre and be critique.

The event was held in the Theater Arts building from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and was free for the public.

The theatre where the event was held only had standing room left by noon when FCC’s Jazz band performed alongside Eva Scow, who is a Fresno native and Jazz musician.

Paul Lucckesi, the director of jazz studies at FCC and the festival director, said the best part of this experience is being able to bring a professional musician to play with his students and hopes it leaves an impact on them.

“It’s great to watch the student’s faces when she [Scow] is soloing…I think for me that’s one of the most rewarding things, watching them [students] get to interact with her,” said Lucckesi.

During the time that the FCC Jazz band had the stage, they broke off to a smaller jazz ensemble who performed some well-known jazz songs like “Calling Miss Khadija” and “Shiny Stockings.”

The whole FCC jazz ensemble performed a world premiere piece that has not been heard before, composed by Mike Kamuf, which is an arrangement of “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 film of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Many took out their phones to capture video of the performances in order to save this memory

The audience gave support to the musicians by giving rounds of applause whenever a student had a solo part and at the end of each musical piece.

Hunter Buck, a music major who played the trombone for City Jazz Fest said he had been at this festival for at least six years, but first time playing at the collegiate level.

“The experience was such a breath of nostalgia as someone who had been to the festival numerous times and honestly it was really inspirational and a beacon of hope that things are moving forward and maybe soon things will return back to more normal life, similar to that of before,” Buck said.

Buck hopes that in the future the festival will include more bands and for a longer festival, to give more opportunities to reach out to more kids.

The 19 schools which involved middle and high schools along with FCC and Fresno State performed at the festival.

Lucckesi said that not only did students get to perform, but they also get 30 minutes workshops with the three musical clinicians who were recording comments about their performance.

“I’m excited about doing the festival again in 2023. I’m hoping to make it a few days festival again and bring a whole new group of clinicians and artists to our campus,” said Lucckesi.

FCC City’s Jazz Fest followed COVID-19 guidelines during this event as audience members had to wear a mask and show proof of a vaccination card or negative results in order to enter.