The CSUN Jazz A Band performed at the Valley Performing Arts Center on February 28, 2013 at 7:30 PM. The director, John Daversa, put together two sections of the show; the first section exhibited the works of Dee Barton, a local jazz musician that recently passed away and the second half introduced two renowned vocalists that accompanied the jazz band. The first vocalist was Renee Olstead, an entertaining vocalist with a strong and soulful voice. The second vocalist was Tierney Sutton who has an amazing talent of creating an instrument with her voice.
Each unique section created different environments and tones that resonated the styles of each musician. Upon entering the Valley Performing Art Center, I was greeted by an usher that was handing out programs. The auditorium had large curved pieces of wood on the roof for better acoustics. On the stage was a large backdrop with numerous amounts of different colored lights shining on it. The stage was oriented in such a way where each musician could be seen. The band consisted of a piano, vibraphone, guitar, bass, drums, and an ensemble of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, flutes, and clarinets.
The audience sat in seats in front of the band on the first floor and I was seated near the front. The show started with the John Daversa giving an introduction of the show and the special guests. Throughout the concert, special musicians got to come to the front and play solos into a microphone. The concert was centered around the musical genre of jazz. Jazz is an All-American genre that started in the early 20th century. The biggest names in jazz history include Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Bassie, Art Tatum and Benny Goodman. These musicians created a new kind of music that the world has never seen before.
The groundbreaking feats that these people made changed the world of music and made it something that breaks all the rules of traditional music. The prominent musicians of the concert were the CSUN Jazz ‘A’ Band, John Daversa, Tierney Sutton, and Renee Olstead. “The CSUN Jazz ‘A’ Band is recognized as one of the finest college jazz bands in the nation” (csun. edu). The band goes to various competitions and gets high rankings. The band aired on radio stations around the world and has received offers to record. They have also played in various major music festivals.
John Daversa, the composer and director of the show, is a trumpet player, “composer, arranger, producer, bandleader, educator, and BFM Jazz recording artist” (johndaversa. com). He earned his “Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Studies at California Institute of the Arts, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz studies at the University of Southern California… [and] is currently a full-time faculty member at California State University, Northridge, where he teaches Jazz Studies and Media Composition”.
Renee Olstead was the first singer that came out after the intermission. She is full of “emotional energy and [boasts a] four octave range [which] produces an extraordinary entertainment experience” (CSUN’s Jazz ‘A’ Band Program). She had a strong and powerful voice with a hint seduction in her voice. Finally, Tierney Sutton was one of the most unique vocalists that I have heard. She is “described as ‘a singer’s singer’, but just as often, she is described as a ‘musician’s singer’ who uses her voice like an instrument” (tierneysutton. com). She used a style of scat singing and created music with her voice as if it was an instrument.
I enjoyed the concert very much. I thought it was a great collection of different kinds of jazz music ranging from instrumentals to big band jazz songs with a vocalist. From what I saw, the audience was a diverse group of listeners. A majority were music major college student however there were several elderly men and women. I think the show was appropriate for all ages. I found out that music has no age and everybody can enjoy it no matter what. But if someone that did not like jazz went to this concert, they wouldn’t have enjoyed the show very much, whether this person was a child or an adult.
According to the Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools, it states that a Prekindergarten student should be able to “respond spontaneously to different types of music and rhythms”. Even at such a young age, children must be able to understand music to the point where they are able to enjoy and comprehend to what they learned. Music helps students to be creative and can help them learn in all the academic courses including Social Studies, Math, Language Arts and Science. This is important because everyone from the age group of Pre-K through 12th rade should fulfill the certain music standards. I personally enjoyed the show because it created a larger picture for me about the world of music. It was very impressive how college students were able to do what they did with their instrument – They didn’t just play one instrument – Some of them play two or three instruments. I cannot imagine the amount of practice they must have had to devote into playing the music at this concert in particular. I was very impressed with the result of this concert. I was satisfied and I completely enjoyed my time at this concert. .
Works Cited California State University, Northridge – College of Arts, Media, and Communication. Jazz “A” Band. Northridge: Department of Music. n. d. Print. Ensembles – Jazz Ensembles. The award winning CSU Northridge Jazz “A” Band. Calfornia State University, Northridge – College of Arts, Media, and Communication. n. d. Web. 18 Mar 2013. John Daversa. N. p. n. d. Web. 18 Mar 2013. O’Malley, Ed. Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools. Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve. California Department of Education. 2001. Web. 18 Mar 2013.