Two combo jazz bands play multiple classics and holiday tunes at Alumni Recital Hall

Ryan Loredo

A&E Editor


As the winter wind begins to chill the air, the Redfern Arts Center displayed its upbeat jazz musicians as a warm introduction to the season.

On Sunday, Dec. 4, the Alumni Recital Hall became the stage for two jazz combo classes ready to display their talents in the musical art of classy jazz.

The two combos were lead by a student from the class; the original director had another obligation to attend, according to Combo I Director KSC freshman Nick Tocci.

“I took over directing the first combo on stage,” Tocci said.

He went on to say, “It was just a sudden change up, but we are all really good at what we do so if there ever is a situation like this we know how to take over and do what we need to do to get good sound out there.”

At around 3 p.m. the first combo class took stage wheeling in basses, xylophones, and a brass section.

With a few snaps from Tocci’s hand they began to play a smooth jazz track titled “Killer Joe.”

The song had various xylophone and bass solos, all without missing a beat and all leading to a cavalcade ending.

The next song on the list was a song that seemed to belong to a Roaring Twenties Manhattan bar scene in a black and white mystery film.

The song, titled “Whisper Not,” began and ended with enticing trumpet which sounded akin to a snake charmer’s flute in style.

After the song ended, Tocci introduced their vocalist, who sang the song “Fever.” At the mere mention of the title the audience broke into a series of ooh’s and aah’s.

The vocalist sang in a sparkling silver dress that cast light wherever her voice echoed. KSC student vocalist Karin Leach said, “Being a soloist, being a vocalist especially, it’s nice to stand out a bit more. Since you are featured, it’s nice to have a dress that’s a little more blingy than anything else.”

The fourth song in the list was again cued in by jazzy finger snaps.

Titled “Could Be,” the song featured an elaborate blues-like guitar solo.

The solo then turned into a righteous drum solo and sped up the beat to a final high energy ending.

A holiday song was next on the track list and the audience again made their favorable opinions known to those around them.

“Winter Wonderland” was performed on stage and the winter wonderland described in the song was given a jazzy cool twist.

The final song was then played after the winter tune and Leach again came on stage along with some more brass section members.

“East of the Sun” had multiple stops but the energy of the song carried the audience through to the next part of the tune.

The vocalist and brass members were alive on stage grooving to the jazz beats they produced.

As the song ended the audience gave a thankful clap and the signal for intermission was given and Combo II class came out to play.

Beginning with a fast-paced, experienced, and out-of-this-world bass solo the intro song was high beat and high tense.

The audience gave high velocity cheering during the song whenever the high energetic solos switched performers.

The following song after the high drive intro was a smooth class track titled “Ladybird.” This tune was more chilled and relaxed than its predecessor but it still kept the fine jazz sound the audience clamored for in the beginning.

The tune was followed by another holiday song which featured KSC junior Cady Lavoie as the vocalist, Lavoie brought out a small Christmas tree bringing more of a holiday theme to the stage.

The classic, titled “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” was another chilling song that brought about the idea of winter.

The vocals for the song were carried on by the guitarist performing for the combo.

After the chilling song came another high energy song with multiple bass and guitar solos with KSC student Dave Parker on vocals. This song woke up the audience from the relaxing preceding song.

The next song on the list brought out the previous vocalist, Lavoie, and was a classic for all to hear.

“Chain of Fools” brought out the classic jazz rhythm most people have come to associate with the genre. The audience was so into the tune that they began to clap the rhythm to the song.

The final track on the list was one that had vocalist Lavoie back on stage and featured a cavalcade of solos by the brass and bass.

The song heavily featured improvised guitar solos by KSC student Harold Jones.

Jones said, “That was all improvised. I should write some of my jazz solos, but I don’t.” The song was a  fitting ending to an afternoon of jazz.

The concert was a culmination of the Jazz Combo I and II classes; however, according to Parker, this is not the only event the combo class does.

The class does multiple concerts throughout the semester.

All in all, the KSC jazz combos did an excellent job to ring in the upcoming holiday season with groove and jazz tunes.

The audience gave a proper ovation to all the performers of the two combo classes.


Ryan Loredo can be contacted at

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