From the District Weekly - (4/22/2009)
Since the 1970s, the jazz department has enhanced the talents of mighty lions like John Pattituci, Mark Turner and Wayne Bergeron. In March 2008, the department was renamed in honor of local real estate baron Bob Cole. Cole, a longtime music fan with a reputation for striking an occasional piano for family and friends, left a sizable contribution to the school after his passing five years ago. In the last year, as malleable minds have attempted to broaden their marketability, or at least postpone reality, the school saw its largest number of applicants looking to toil in the shadow of the corrugated blue pyramid.
Earlier this month, the program’s Concert Jazz Orchestra and vocal ensemble headed up to Steinbeck’s beloved peninsula to take part in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation competition. The MJF, America’s longest-running jazz festival, started as a West Coast answer to George Wein’s socialite-fueled Newport Jazz Festival. In the last 52 years, the MJF has become a first-rate educational advocate providing instruments, scholarships and attitude to countless young musicians in need. For the second time in three years, the orchestra took first place in the College Big Band division, earning them the opportunity to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival this September.
For the final concert of the season, the orchestra has planned a set of tunes by the likes of Thelonious Monk, Bob Mintzer and the head of the jazz program, Jeff Jarvis. With Cal State Long Beach housing the No. 1 jazz radio station in the country and a rising star in the educational field, it would seem their profile could not get any bigger. Now we just need a few venues for them to play in.
CSULB CONCERT JAZZ ORCHESTRA LINK THEATRE CSULB 1250 BELLFLOWER BLVD LONG BEACH 90840 FRI 8PM $7-10 AND CSULB VOCAL JAZZ CONCERT DANIEL RECITAL HALL BOB COLE CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC COMPLEX CSULB MAY 1 8PM $7-10 CALL 562.985.7000 OR VISIT CSULB.EDU/COLECONSERVATORY FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION FOR BOTH SHOWS