Well, it’s obvious that jazz is alive and well in Santa Barbara… Case in point, our 2019 SBJS Holiday Party/Jam Session in December. It’s always a fun event and was kicked off by this year’s SBJS Jazz Scholarship Award winner, the marvelous San Marcos High School Jazz Band. Under the direction of Michael Kiyoi, a one time student at San Marcos, the band members really put on a super show. They played their collective hearts out with up beat tunes like Little Karen, Big Mama Cass, and the seasonal favorite, Let It Snow. Let It Snow, Let It Snow! There were some great soloists and one of the fine sax players, July Longcob, even accompanied one of the singers,Yvonne Bazinet, later in the afternoon. Her tune was Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas along with husband/drummer Dave sitting in… Mr and Mrs Claus, in full costume. But back to the band…we were so pleased to be able to present $1000 to them for their Jazz program. Each year, the Jazz Society contributes to alternating local public high schools to help with jazz studies.

The house band consisting of pianist, Woody De Marco, bassist Randy Tico, and drummerTom Lackner played a few jazzy holiday tunes to start the next part of the program followed by more holiday vocals.  Alison Tuma sang a delightfully sexy, Santa Baby, followed by a lovely rendition of Winter Wonderland by Caroline Chufar, Kimberly Ford graced us with the Vince Guaraldi favorite, Christmastime is Here, and MC Sandy Cummings sang What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? We also had some male vocalists: David Statucki belted out the Cole Porter’s standard, Night and Day, Kellen Romano gave us a scatting version of Blue Monk, and Ed Lango added his wonderful deep bass voice to the Nat King Cole hit, Sweet Lorraine. Also, drummer, Denise Alpine did a super job sitting in for a couple of numbers with the vocalists.

First time with a live band, Monica Langhorn, sang a wonderful Frim Fram Sauce. We also had some more seasoned performers, like Victoria Leon, who treated us to Day By Day and Jodi De Marcos, another familiar face, sang Nature Boy. Singer, Gia Archer, belted out a spirited Devil May Care, and Linda Martin gave us, What A Difference a Day Makes. The Trio, consisting of Cheryl Fontana, Jan Smith and myself had a great time with the Horace Silver classic, Doodlin’ and I tried to impress that I’m Hip!

I hope that I didn’t leave anyone out because it was a super afternoon and great fun!

Holiday Jazz Jam 2019

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