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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Jazz Festival Concert Featuring Christian McBride a Hit

Just under 500 people crowded into the Turlock Community Theater noisily anticipating the Four-time Grammy Award winning jazz bassist Christian McBride to play for the 2015 California State University, Stanislaus Jazz Festival Concert. When the director of the Jazz Festival Joe Mazzaferro approached the downstage microphone and the lights dimmed, the thunderous applause revealed just how excited the audience was.
After the Clinicians Quartet– Mazzaferro, trumpet; Patrick Langham, alto saxophone; Brenden Lowe, piano; Marcus Shelby, bass; Tim Metz, drums– played a few songs together including a song written by Langham, McBride was introduced into the quartet taking Shelby’s place. Though Shelby was extremely skilled, it was clear when McBride took up his bass why he was so beloved.
Once the Clinicians Quartet finished their set list with the guest bassist, they left the stage making way for the CSU Stanislaus Jazz Ensemble comprised mostly of students. The songs that the ensemble performed with McBride ranged from jazz standards to songs composed by McBride some of which were: “Shake ‘N Blake,” “Broadway,” “Gettin’ To It,” “In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” and the ballad “The Shade of the Cedar Tree” featuring Mazzaferro.
During the concert, McBride didn’t hold back any of his skill while playing and simply astonished the audience with his solos. Although his performance warranted the large amount of applause that he received, the audience and McBride recognized the talent in the clinicians and the students as well. It was clear just by watching him that his encouragement of the other musicians was the cause of his deep love and passion for playing jazz. The standing ovation at the end of the concert and after the encore was deserved by every single person involved in the concert.
Throughout the day the Jazz Festival took place in the Snyder Music Hall and the Mainstage theater where many high school jazz bands played for the clinicians. After each band played, the clinicians would discuss how the musicians could improve by assessing short term and long term issues.
In the middle of the festival, McBride spoke at a Master Class in the Snyder Music Hall answering the questions of the jazz players who attended. He spoke about how he came to love playing bass through his uncle, and about his philosophies about jazz. One of the important things for him was for the musicians work hard on being themselves instead of worrying about being like himself or a different famous jazz player.
When asked what McBride would say to Turlock and CSU Stanislaus, he said that he hoped that we would invite him back again.

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Jazz Festival Concert Featuring Christian McBride a Hit