Trumpeter Sean Jones performs at Saddleback College’s Jazz Day. (Frank Rocha/Lariat)
With a warmed up crowd, Sean Jones walks on stage at the McKinney Theatre to join the Saddleback College students to play four original songs from Jones and one surprising ballad, which Jones doesn’t really take part in from usual audience suggestions at each of his performances.
Band leader and Saddleback College music chair Joey Sellers, led a 21 band orchestra comprised of saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano, bass and drum players who open for nights festivities.
The Saddleback College students perform “DeWeese’s Tune” and “Something About Butter,” which gave the crowd for an almost packed McKinney theatre a great introduction with a smooth, slick and funky melodies that made spectators ingest the soulful and free moments of what Jazz delivers.
Jones joins the Saddleback College ensemble from his original song called, “Touch and Go,” from his album “No Need for Words.” With a bouncy, wholesome, intimate and grandiose style this intro serves the Ohio native that has been a part of the Lincoln Center Orchestra, a member of SFJAZZ Collective and served as Chair of the Brass Department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
“Everybody thinks it’s about a one night stand, but it’s about love,” said Jones. “Maybe most of you don’t know being so young.”
He then elaborates about how and why the audience is here sharing the enjoyment of the art of jazz from the chairman of John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute of Jazz, a well-known trumpeter, internationally recognized educator and who has played with Jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis, Diane Reeves, Marcus Miller, Jimmy Heath and the list goes on and on.
“You are here for a reason, you can call it God, the universe, signs, but we are all here tonight to enjoy good music,” said Jones. “You were born for a reason.”
Jones’ second song for the night was called “Wizard,” which was given to him by visiting the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, a student heard that he was visiting. So he arranged a piece for Jones and then soon later called the song “Wizard,” after the creator of the tune being sort of a whizkid. The piece gave a whimsical, mathematically sound, with funky solos delivering an MIT grade point average level of melody and artistry.
Jones third song called “Life Cycles,” created from the Dell computer start up theme. After a discussion between a peer that Jones’ Macintosh computer was superior over his friends Dell. But for Jones he couldn’t get the Dell intro theme out of his head by his peer’s laptop. Realizing that the tune could be worked upon and that our lives are just spinning in circles of technology. Jones created “Life Cycles,” through his interest and disinterest of technology.
Jones fourth song for the night, “Stardust” (1927) by Hoagy Carmichael is a rarity for the artist to play. After receiving comments from spectators from various venues, Jones had been asked, “Why don’t you play ballads?” So Jones gave in to play a famous Jazz number that he later described the song that would make any 21 and over guests want to get a daiquiri or any younger individual want a glass of strawberry milk after the songs end because of its velvety and delectable finish.
For Jones’ final song for the night:
“This particular tune is a creation of time and that time happen to be when I was sitting in the symphony orchestra in New Jersey bored out of my mind. I was sitting there listening to the strings do their thing and there was a really hip cord progression. And I was like, I really want to turn that into a tune. And the piece was called ‘Sun Music.’ And so I decided that I was going to flip it, put a hip-hop groove on it and instead of calling it ‘Sun Music,’ call it ‘Into the Sun,’” said Jones.
After Jones rendition and vibing melody gave the song new life with a modern twist. With Jones artistic expression through his trumpet, he also enlightens with his words and philosophical insight that grants his audience with heady material that gives listeners motivation to ingest as much knowledge the world hands to an individual.
“Eternity needs creations of time to make itself manifest in this time and you are all creations of time and eternity needs to listen to those songs that come to you,” said Jones. “Please listen to eternity and let it speak to you because we need those songs more than ever.”