The Art of The Jazz Trio gives students the opportunity to present original compositions

In Arts & Entertainment, Music
The Art of the Jazz Trio was the perfect chance for student musicians to showcase their own compositions. Grammy winner Bill Cunliffe believes performing in trios helped enhance the performance .
The Art of the Jazz Trio was the perfect chance for student musicians to showcase their own compositions. Grammy winner Bill Cunliffe believes performing in trios helped enhance the performance .

Cal State Fullerton reverberated with the sound of jazz Sunday evening.

Faculty and students of the Department of Music captivated the audience at Meng Concert Hall, performing jazz classics as well as original compositions.

Student trios performed first, followed by the faculty setlist.

The concert opener was performed by student Sean Mehaffy, who played the saxophone and was accompanied by bass and piano.

Mina Choi followed Mehaffy with her uplifting number, Begin Again. Choi said it was dedicated to a friend who is going through a difficult time. Her song was the only piece that featured a vocal performance by junior Taylor Thornton, a member of the Jazz Singers at Cal State Fullerton.

Thornton has been singing since she was 3 years old, but became involved with jazz during her junior year of high school.

“[Jazz] allows you to really be yourself,” Thornton said. “You can be free, basically.”

In addition to performances with various instruments, different trios presented sets with various types of percussion instruments and saxophones. Faculty performers included Bill Cunliffe, Eric Dries, Jeff Ellwood, Luther Hughes, Paul Kreibich, Chuck Tumlinson and Damon Zick.

Zick, a CSUF professor of music, performed the last composition, Nada Pero Maquinas. He said it was inspired by the Cuban and Spanish influence on Miami, and by his phone’s answering machine.

The Art of the Jazz Trio gave students the opportunity to present their own work to the public. Burt Pronin and his wife, Barbara, were among the audience in attendance. The couple loved the show and enjoyed the fact that young people are having fun with music that older generations have listened to for decades.

Cunliffe, a Grammy Award-winning professor of music at CSUF, said three is the perfect number for musicians to play together because the organization of the groups in trios enhance the performance of the musicians.

“Jazz, to me, is a great possibility of communication,” Cunliffe said. “It teaches you how to communicate not through words, but through music and through listening to each other, which is really important.”

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