Jazz Day welcomes guest artist

Saddleback’s Big Band performed Feb. 9 with guest artist and professional trumpet player Wayne Bergeron. The Jazz Day event filled the McKinney Theater. It was a salute to jazz and big band style music. The night started with only four songs, three of which were written or arranged by Tim Gill, who is the roommate of one of the band members. At Jazz Day, Gill heard his songs “for the first time, [because he is] not actually playing in the band.” After a brief intermission, the night’s special guest arrived on stage to play alongside the Big Band. Together they played an eclectic mix of songs and featured solos by various band members and Bergeron. One of the most memorable songs was “Waltz of the Flowers” by Tchaikovsky, as performed as a jazz song. Bergeron not only dazzled the audience with his trumpet skills, but also shared anecdotes in between songs. He spoke of past performances and of musicians he has worked with over the years. Bergeron also spoke of the band’s director, Joey Sellers, and of playing with him 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 performance, Bergeron was greeted with a long line of audience members ready for photo’s 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,” said Sellers of inviting Bergeron to perform. “He’s just a great musician and to bring someone of that caliber is a great thing.” The event was filled people of all ages. All of which seemed to be jazz fans as they swayed to the music and clapped enthusiastically after notable solos. Several of the Saddleback students in attendance were there observing for a class assignment, such as Elise Ybarra. “I thought it was completely delightful,” said Ybarra, 20, music major, of the performance. “I like how they put a new spin on old melodies from Gershwin.”

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