Jazz 88 gives audience to students

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The spring jazz season for City College’s on-campus radio station, KSDS Jazz 88, kicked off on March 3 with the 8th Annual California Music Educators Association Jazz Festival.

This year, it was held in the Saville Theatre, the communication department’s television studio and in one classroom in the C-building.

The series of concerts gives high school jazz musicians the chance to be heard and critiqued by music educators outside of their own school’s music department.

The bands perform a selection of songs for a live audience and then are critiqued on stage immediately following the performance.

The guest judges included John Ayala from Bullard High School, George Stone from Cuesta College and Meryl Wamhof from Delta College.

“Most of the time when we play in public it can take months for us to get feedback. Here, the critique is immediate,” said Eric Askew, a trombone player for the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

His band members, Stella Forman-Fronius, Alec Hamilton and Elijah Delouches, all agreed and said they enjoyed playing in front of so many people at a local venue.

“Most of our performances are in Anaheim,” said Forman-Fronius. “I love the local aspect of it.”

April Pendergraft, who has been KSDS’s membership director since September, said she was inspired by the enthusiasm of the student musicians.

“It’s cool to see kids of all ages who are so passionate about what they do,” said Pendergraft. “Even when they’re not on stage, they’re outside playing their instruments.”

According to Richard Ciavarelli, this year’s CMEA jazz coordinator, San Diego’s High School Jazz Festival epitomizes what performing jazz means to young musicians.

“This is what its all about,” Ciavarelli said. “This is one of the best venues to practice, perform and get feedback.”

Ciavarelli also gave KSDS credit for how great CMEA is for the schools, the music teachers and the students. “KSDS is the glue that makes this event so spectacular.”

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