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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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SBCC students to perform with five-time grammy award winner

Courtesy photo

City College’s New World Jazz Ensemble will perform with Michael McDonald, a five-time Grammy Award winner, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 in the La Cumbre Theatre.  

This concert is a benefit for the Alano Club of Santa Barbara, a non-profit organization that helps addicts by holding meetings and offering support. McDonald, a former member of Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers, has performed for the club before on their 50th anniversary in 2013.

“Mike is an incredibly sweet soul,” said Tony Ybarra, the conductor and instructor of the New World Jazz Ensemble. “As a fan I was awestruck when he walked into my classroom.”

This ensemble is the most advanced at City College, and is performing at nine different concerts throughout the country this semester.

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“We’re playing at the Reno Jazz festival, and a festival down in Westlake Village,” Ybarra said.

The ensemble is also playing at the Dos Pueblos Jazz festival preceding the McDonald concert.

McDonald asked six of the students who play in the New World Jazz Ensemble to play alongside him, after watching the band perform.

The rhythm section will be composed of pianist Benjamin Huston, bassist Sebastian Martinez, guitarist Jeff Cifuentes and drummer Westin Byerly. The horn section will be made up of Andrew Godinez on trumpet and Tefft on tenor saxophone.

During his set, the students will be performing songs written by McDonald.

“It will be an interesting contrast going from straight bop to old time R&B,” said Huston.

The rest of the New World Jazz Ensemble will perform a 20 minute set on their own in the second half of the show.

McDonald chose the theatre at La Cumbre Junior High for the performance based on the quality of the sound and equipment they have.

The audio technician that McDonald uses works for the Grammys and believes that the La Cumbre Theatre is the “best” location in town, Ogle said.

During the show, Portland based Tommy Alexander, a singer-songwriter who has recently released two full length albums, will also be playing. Followed by Ian Ferguson, Mcdonald’s nephew, and Dylan McDonald, McDonald’s son.

After, McDonald will play with his wife, Amy Holland, a Grammy nominated songwriter. They will perform songs from her unreleased album.

General admission for the show is $50 and can be purchased here.

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