A Night of Jazz – Benefit For The Shafter Symphony Orchestra

Every year, the Shafter community hosts a fundraiser for their orchestra, featuring jazz music and dancing. A nice dinner is included in the price of admittance. Last year, we lost the newly built venue at the last minute and had to play in the surprisingly nice local high school cafeteria. This year, the Ford Theater, our original destination, is open for business, and I was not lied to when I was told it is nice. What was once a Ford auto dealership is now a theater that I am told can host anything from music performance to live theater!

Since we were not the first act to play, but still had a ton of setup, we arrived early to arrange the stage and set levels.

Checking my tone, levels, and warming up my hands

This used to be a place where cars were sold!

Double checking my tone, levels, and warming up my hands

Double checking my tone, levels, and warming up my hands

After setup, we had some time to eat and rub elbows with the staff and the other musicians who were playing that night.

This man was the pianist of the small combo that played before us. They were amazing!

This man was the pianist of the small combo that played before us. They were amazing!

They played very beautifully

The quintet played very beautifully

They played one of my all time favorite songs: Brazil

They played one of my all time favorite songs: Brazil

After dinner and the wonderful quintet, it was showtime for us!

A great shot of the band

A great shot of the band

A good shot of the whole stage and *all* of the band members

A good shot of the whole stage and *all* of the band members

Our trumpet section belting out some tunes

Our trumpet section belting out some tunes

Live trombones. Better than headphones

Live trombones. Better than headphones

They want to SAX you a question

They want to SAX you a question

Our keyboardist and drummer laying down the foundation

Our keyboardist and drummer laying down the foundation

Our keyboardist and bassist, making sure we all stay on track and focused

Our keyboardist and bassist, making sure we all stay on track and focused

I thought we were really on fire for this gig. I don’t know if it was the venue, or the fact that we had a nice break from performance for a little while before playing again, but I felt a real energy from the band that kept me focused and in the zone. And of course, we played for dancers, which I really enjoy doing.

Some audience members before the show started

Some audience members before the show started

There's no need to feel down

There’s no need to feel down – audience members boogie down to our rendition of YMCA

Dancers dancin fancy dances

Dancers dancin fancy dances

I have to admit, I was pretty exhausted after this show. We were there for a total of 5 hours from setup to call time, to break down. It was totally worth it! I haven’t had that much fun in a really long time. I really hope I get to play this venue again someday, and I had a real blast with the big band again this year.

For those who are interested, here are a couple of videos of our performance that night:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s