Richland College’s jazz fusion ensemble performed in the El Paso Hall cafeteria as part of the concert lunch series sponsored by the music department.
Each semester the music department holds performances to promote different ensembles. The fusion band performed five pieces from famous artists; “The Jody Grind” by Horace Silver, “Better Days Ahead” by Pat Metheny, “Nothing Personal” by Michael Brecker, “Moment’s Notice” by John Coltrane and “Sudden Samba” by Neil Larson. The group is comprised of 20 members and is directed by Ron Jones, the lab band director.
“They all did a good job, really from beginning to end. Everyone was really professional. They were here early and tuned and then they played with gusto. Very nice solos, played together and I was proud of them,” said Jones.
Jazz fusion is a mixture of different jazz harmony, mixed with rock, funk other styles that produce a distinct modern sound. During the performance, there was a lot of improvisation that really highlighted the skill of the musicians. Each piece was performed with great dedication and emotion.
From the saxophone, trumpet, flute, piano, guitar, drums and xylophone, each performer had the opportunity to share their talent through improvised solos. One of the performers was flute player, Vladimir Herrera, who performed a fantastic solo on the piece “Better Days Ahead” by Pat Metheny.
“The most pleasurable thing is to improvise because that is where you leave your soul on the music when your improvising,” said Herrera.
The most famous piece the ensemble covered was a “Moment’s Notice” by John Coltrane. When the piece started, the ensemble resonated with emotion leading to several improvised solos that were beautifully interpreted.
The music resonated throughout El Paso Hall. Each member of the group knew exactly when to come in to perform their solos in the composition. Jones said, “I just give a few ques every now and then but I’m happy for them to play on their own.”
The group performs throughout the semester and plays compositions by artists that music fans of any age can enjoy.