Annual music event brings jazz giants to SBCC

Johanna Mikkela

Saxophonists and friends Med Florey and Danny House will bring the world of jazz to the Garvin Theatre at The Legends of Jazz Concert March 21.

“It will be a good concert because it’s got the right energy. Med’s playing with a buddy of his and if you make a good chemistry and atmosphere for the solo artists you know it will be great,” said Music Instructor James Mooy.

Florey and House will be backed up by the award winning Lunch Break Band, The Good Times Big Band who’ve played at the Reno Jazz Festival, and also the Monday Madness Band.

Mooy said that the Monday Madness Band, consisting of local professional musicians, is very excited about the concert since the legends will actually sit down with them and be part of the band.

All together more than 60 musicians will play at the concert.

Mooy said that Florey is looking forward to doing a “cutting session” with House.

A “cutting session” is when two solo musicians are standing up in front of the band trying to challenge or “out cool” each other, as Mooy put it.

He said that the performers like each other a lot but there has to be competition and that’s what makes it fun.

This concert is a yearly event and Mooy is organizing it together with the directors of the jazz bands.

He said they promote the concert on the radio and by sending out flyers to both jazz societies and a City College mailing list.

Mooy and his colleagues usually plan the concerts eight months in advance and he starts calling performers at the end of the summer.

He said the concerts usually sell out, or close to it.

Some students come because they have to write a paper about the concert but this year many in their 40s, who went to school with House, are likely to show up Mooy said.

Mooy added that Florey will attract anyone who likes West Coast jazz, because is the experienced one who’s been around.

“The main audience at the concerts is usually community members who are familiar with our good reputation. So it’s easy to get these people to come,” Mooy said.

Ticket sales make up the entire budget for the concerts and if there’s anything left over it goes to the scholarships offered to music students.

Mooy said that Florey and House are hired but for the band members it’s worth playing just for the experience of interacting with the jazz giants.

“What we really could use is a sponsor for these concerts so that we can hire people to come to town because it’s such a special experience for the students to play with them. Giving the students that experience, that’s what it’s all about,” Mooy said.

Mooy had the honour to play in a cutting session with Conte Candoli when he was a student at SBCC.

Candoli unfortunately passed away 2001 but was a veteran of West Coast jazz and known for playing with Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show Band.

He said that it probably cost the school some to get Candoli to come but that it was worth it.

Mooy said that eventually he hopes to get both a jazz trumpet player and comedian Jack Sheldon to come play at a concert.

“A concert with Jack Sheldon would be a fun concert for anybody whether you like jazz or not,” said Mooy.

The Legends of Jazz Concert is at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and are available at the Garvin Box Office 965-5935.

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