Big Band lights up stage with jazz classics and other jazz genres. (Kseniya Taranyuk/Lariat)

Big Band lights up stage with jazz classics and other jazz genres. (Kseniya Taranyuk/Lariat)

At the McKinney Theatre, the Saddleback College Big Band hit all the right notes on Friday with swinging beats and tempo on the spot.  The Big Band played a well diverse set of jazz music, ranging from old classics to contemporary jazz. The jazz music ensemble made the audience dance, snap and clap to the rhythm in their seats.

The excitement of the jazz musicians increased tremendously, while the audience arrived in their seats. Many of the musicians were eager to perform.

“We always have a blast [to perform to an audience],” said Luke Reeder, 21, saxophonist.

Big Band jazz derives from the Prohibition era at speakeasies. Some of this music was played at the concert.

“This concert is in the tradition of newly commissioned works like Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ from 1924, to works composed in the last month,” said Joey Sellers, Director of Jazz Studies.

The set of music took the audience members on a musically emotional journey throughout the evening, as the musicians jazzed their way through different tempos and beats.

One of the songs played was “Gentle Rain” by Luiz Bonfa. Another one of the arrangements was composed by one of the jazz music students.

“Two world premieres, one student arrangement and lots of contemporary big band music,” Sellers said.

The set had an interesting backstory, specifically in the last song played. It was interesting to find out that one of Saddleback’s faculty contributed to a talk show themed song.

“The last song is one that I wrote many years ago for Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band and we needed a swinging blues to close the concert,” Sellers said.

The audience showed their enthusiasm with a round of applause and cheers.

“I absolutely loved the Big Band jazz ensemble arrangements and set this evening,” said Brennan DePriest, an audience member. “I could not stop tapping my feet to the beat and [the musicians] did an amazing job performing and keeping to the beat.”

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