Jazz Day welcomes guest artist in swinging fashion

Saddleback’s Big Band performed Feb. 9 with professional trumpet player Wayne Bergeron.

A salute to jazz and big band style music, Jazz Day started with four songs. Three of those pieces were written or arranged by Tim Gill, who is the roommate of one of the band members. Gill heard his songs “for the first time, [though] not actually playing in the band.”

After a brief intermission, the night’s special guest was welcomed to play alongside the Big Band. Together they presented an eclectic mix of songs and featured solos by various band members and Bergeron.

Bergeron not only showed his savvy on the trumpet, but also shared anecdotes between songs.

He spoke of past performances and of musicians he has had the pleasure of working with over the years.

Bergeron also spoke of the band’s director, Joey Sellers, and of playing together in the Dixieland Band at Disneyland.

“I rarely throw the word genius around,” Bergeron said. “But, I truly believe Joey is a genius.”

After the show, Bergeron was greeted with a long line of audience members ready for photos and autographs.

One man brought his instrument case to be signed by Bergeron.

“We try to pick a great artist that will address a different need for the students,” Sellers said. “He’s just a great musician and to bring someone of that caliber is a great thing.”

The event was filled by people of all ages who swayed to the music and clapped enthusiastically.

“I thought it was completely delightful,” said Elise Ybarra, 20, music major. “I like how they put a new spin on old melodies from Gershwin.”

The energetic music performances and well-received special guest were a testament to the flourishing arts programs and opportunities to see live music at Saddleback College.

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