It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas this December at our annual Holiday Party. SOhO was all decked out with poinsettias on the stage and Trader Joe’s provided festive plants for each table. First up, we had the San Marcos Jazz Band who played a few numbers by jazz giants, including Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Moten Swing featured the Freddy Green sound and was a great tribute to Count Basie. This band is very disciplined, tight, and right on thanks to director, Michael Kiyoi and of course, the students themselves. Pianist, Nick Slaughter, celebrated the season with a solo number, Christmastime Is Here, by famed pianist and Peanuts’ Christmas composer, Vince Guaraldi. It’s a good feeling to know that jazz is being kept alive by these fine, young musicians. President, Peter Clark and Secretary ReVay Seifert awarded a $1,000 check from the Jazz Society’s Scholarship fund to Mr. Koyoi to be used in their music department.
The jam session part of the program opened with the house band playing, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. Band members, Woody Di Marco on piano, bassist Hank Allen, Rusty Cummings on drums, and just in from Treviso, Italy, Alberto Negroni on guitar made a fabulous quartet and played for most of the singers. Pianists Peter Clark and Dick Dunlap sat in during the festivities and Andrew Williams accompanied two singers, Brie Sanchez and Lori Manriquez. There were a few professional vocalists namely, Kimberly Ford, Sandy Cummings, and Howard Michaels who were great to hear. It takes a lot of practice and nerves of steel to get up on that stage and sing your heart out if you are not professional and just like to sing. But they did it and we welcomed two vocalists who are former Jazz Society Presidents, Dan Mendoza and ReVay Seifert. It was fun to hear them and the rest of the amateur, but up and coming singers including Nancy Sanchez, Jodi De Marcos, and Kanga Larado. Super professional players, saxophonist Robert Hart and guitarist Chris Judge were on hand to play and flutist, Robert Taylor was featured with the band on a rousing blues to close the show. Most in the packed house agreed it was a fun afternoon filled with the good music and good cheer of the season.