Welcome to our biggest and most exciting show yet! (Well, I say that every year but it's true!) This year we took a break from our usual sidewalk venue, accepting a special invitation from Pastor Mark Schweitzer of Faith Community Church in Palmdale to use their facilities for our concert! This was the first time we've had the chance to work with a professional quality sound system and sound engineer and we jumped at the opportunity!
The show title and theme for this showcase - Rock Jam! 2016 - represents our curriculum focus during the past 12 months. During our lesson time together over the past year the students and I have been focusing on the art and technique of jamming. The term "jam" refers simply to group improvisation - the band, as a whole, works together to create something original "on the fly". In Rock, Blues, Jazz, and other contemporary music forms, jamming often assumes a major part in the expression of those forms, especially in live performance. Individual soloing skills as well as solid communications skills between the performers are critical to pulling off a successful "jam". Many of the selections presented during this showcase embody one or more concepts related to improvisation and jamming.
For this, our 2016 Showcase, we gratefully welcome back the following returning student performers: Cody Clark (vocals), William Collins (guitar),Jake Kuhlemeier (guitar, bass), Pranesh Kumar (guitar), Evan Larson (bass), and Stephen Schweitzer (guitar). We also wish to extend a very warm and most enthusiastic welcome to our new, first-time student performers: Ryan Alonso (guitar), Jayce Alvey (guitar), Clarisse Angeles (guitar),Presley Gilbert (guitar), Andrew Jun (guitar), Jessica McLaren (vocals, guitar), and Brody Penner (guitar). As another first for this show, we have invited two of the students of drummer Chris Cooke - Mark Costa (drums) and Paul Jun (drums) - to join us on several of our numbers. This is an amazing group of performers!
We also wish to acknowledge and thank the several additional musicians who helped us pull this show off: Chris Cooke (drums), Jim Ely(keyboards), Vic Grady (vocals, guitar), and special guest performer Mo Grundy (vocals, harmonica). Great job gentlemen!
Our very special thanks go to Pastor Mark Schweitzer and Faith Community Church for inviting us to use their wonderful facilities, and to sound engineer Matthew Garten for working so hard to help us sound great! You guys rock!!
We feel so excited about this performance and are already looking ahead to 2017 - see you then!!