Shafter Big Band – Shafter Colours Festival: A Night of Jazz Fundraiser

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The Colours Festival was officially the last Shafter Big Band gig for the year.

At the risk of sounding a little boastful, we totally rocked it in spite of some unexpected logistical snags! For one, the festival lost the original venue, which I have been told has a pretty amazing sound system and stage. Being downgraded from a professional stage to a high school cafeteria wasn’t exactly inspiring, but professionalism requires one to bring their A-game in any and every performance.

Upon arrival, however, I was pretty amazed at the quality of Shafter High’s cafeteria. It was sizable, well decorated, and equipped with built-in mood lighting. I have never seen a school cafeteria like it before. The first thing I did was test out the acoustics of the room, and I was worried we would end up with a reverb chamber show.

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Once the room filled out with diners and dancers, the acoustics settled down (it’s hard to tell how a venue will really sound until it’s filled with people) and we were able to have a great show. Every player in the band was in top form and we earned some pretty enthusiastic applause from our audience throughout the night.

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The small jazz ensemble which opened for us also deserves a shout out for being really great. I actually had no idea there was going to be an opening act, and I unfortunately did not get a chance to find out who the musicians were.

I had a total blast playing with the Shafter Big Band this year, and I learned a lot by being able to perform and mingle with such high quality musicians. I’m grateful for the experience and will be there with bells on if I’m invited again next year!

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