Grammy-nominated artist lights up McKinney Theatre

Prestigious trombonist John Fedchock vibes with Saddleback students during Jazz Day 2016. (Matthew Kirkland/ Lariat)

Prestigious trombonist John Fedchock vibes with Saddleback students during Jazz Day 2016. (Matthew Kirkland/ Lariat)

World class trombonist John Fedchock took center center stage with the Saddleback Big Band for Jazz Day on Saddleback College’s campus Saturday, Feb. 27.

The sound of jazz was ringing through the theater, and Fedchock’s own piece, “Havana,” had the crowd tapping along. Fast rhythms and long solos seemed to be the mood of the night, inspired by the career of Fedchock.

Fedchock’s Grammy nominated composition “You and the Night and the Music” was the lasting impression of the concert, providing some inspiring trombone play both by Fedchock and the Saddleback students. It was the perfect way to end Jazz Day 2016.

“Damn. Its like the only word that comes even close, besides the ones I know definitely can’t go on the paper,” Ramsey Hampton, a Saddleback Big Band Trombonist, said. “He is just world class. There is only a few people at that level and he is definitely one of the guys.”

The concert was impressive and raised money for Saddleback’s Jazz department, but Fedchock believes that these types of events serve a greater purpose.

“You hope you give them some valuable information that they can use, but I think the main thing you really hope for is that you inspire them, and theres no guarantee you are going to inspire all of them, or even a large portion of them. It might just be one kid out there,” Fedchock said, “But I was that one kid many years ago that got inspired by something like this. So it is a special thing and you don’t even find out about it until years and years later.”

Saddleback’s Big Band started off the night by playing “Barbecue and Breakfast” by Thad Jones, “Peacocks” by Jimmy Rowels and “Let’s Fall in Love” by Arlen and Koehler. Each band member was introduced by performing a solo within the songs during the first half of the show.

The second half of the concert started off with “Caravan,” a piece written by an amazing big band trombonist named Juan Tizol. Fedchock followed it with another original piece of his own titled “Big Bruiser.”

The energy between Saddleback’s Big Band members and the renowned Fedchock was a joy to see. Having the chance to meet someone of such high stature with similar goals can sometimes be nerve racking or even intimidating but the band members stepped up to the challenge.

“I try not to focus on the nerves and I look forward to the work we get to do with [Fedchock], because in everything he does there is a bunch of wisdom coming out of what he’s got to say, through his mouth and through his horn.” Hampton said. “Its just a thrill and an honor to work with a world class person like that and get to be immersed in their presence, because every time that happens you just get better.”

This year’s Jazz Day was hosted by jazz department chair Joey Sellers and was made possible by Angels of the Arts.