Jazz Band celebrates 15th annual Red Hot Jazz event

Melanie Villasin, Staff reporter

The Jazz Band participated in the 15th annual Red Hot Jazz on April 13 in the LeVecke Center. Instead of celebrating the event at Spaghettini in Long Beach this year, the event moved back home to Mater Dei, which gave the band more creative freedom and ability to show off their vast musical abilities, the students said.

“Our Jazz Band will take you through a musical journey of the multicultural genres and styles that intertwined into what became known as ‘jazz,’ America’s only true original art form,” Director of Instrumental Music Fernando Martinez said.

According to Martinez, this concert mainly promoted the Jazz Band specifically, which is unique because the Jazz Band usually serves to accompany a main event. 

“What I enjoy most is being able to showcase all of our songs that we’ve learned throughout the year,” said junior Nicholas Lising, the lead trumpet in the Jazz Band. “I really enjoy giving it our all and putting on a good show for the audience.”

Red Hot Jazz is also an opportunity to continue growing the instrumental music program. For example, as the program has gradually evolved over the years, students within the percussion ensemble, winds ensemble, string orchestra, and guitar programs were also included in this year’s show. The show also premiered a performance by the first middle school jazz band ever created through the Music Academy and the Marian Alliance Schools.

it gives us an opportunity to show our skills and hopefully inspire younger musicians to join jazz,” Lising said.

Aside from the night being an opportunity to listen to talented students, connect with friends, and create memories, it was also an important fundraising event for the jazz band program. The funds raised from the event go toward food for away games, transportation for competitions, and expenses such as their previous Hawaii trip.

“If it wasn’t for these funds, we really wouldn’t be able to do half of the stuff we do now,” said Yahaira Rodriguez, the lead saxophone for the Jazz Band.

During the event, there was also an auction and raffle for participants to partake in. This auction, however, is unconventional: The actual members of the Jazz Band were auctioned. Whoever offered the highest bid for a specific member won the chance to have that musician play one event for the winner whenever they please.

All alumni who have participated in the Jazz Band were also invited to the event and were invited to join the band for the complimentary pre-performance reception, but of course the guest list was not limited. In fact, anyone wishing to support the band and spend some time listening to great music was invited to attend.

“[It] is not only a concert, but more significantly, it is a night of coming together, sharing, and creating lifelong memories,” Martinez said. “It is the result of many hours of dedication and commitment. I am truly honored to be a part of this experience with all of you.”