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Chabot College Jazz Concert

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On Friday, March 7, 2014, the Chabot community was entertained with a jazz concert that took place at the Reed L. Buffington Performing Arts Center.
This semester’s jazz concert was a great success. Both the jazz ensemble and orchestra played well and delighted the audience with sounds that can be described as both captivating and fulfilling.

The perfectly lit venue was the best choice for this concert. If you have never been inside, it is located near the taco truck and the Little Theater that leads to the parking lot.
Chabot’s jazz program has gained national recognition, playing all over the U.S. and even in Japan. This is due to the highly talented alumni who have played with many famous musicians from around the world. The main focus of the concert was the distinguished guest, Peter Erskine.

Erskine is a multi-Grammy-Award-winning drummer who holds an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music. Erskine has released over 30 albums in which he has played with a variety of extremely talented musicians and groups. Erskine made the trip up to the Bay Area from Los Angeles to play with Chabot’s jazz students, and they did not disappoint.

Peter Erskine introduces the next song during the Chabot college Jazz Concert on Mar. 7, 2014.

Peter Erskine introduces the next song during the Chabot College Jazz Concert on Mar. 7, 2014.

The jazz orchestra and ensemble played about five to six songs each. All of the songs were executed perfectly, and each solo had me engulfed in emotion. As each horn blazed and each string tugged, I drifted off into a memorizing daze. The sudden blast from the drums as it went from the background to the forefront snapped the songs back into a collaborative piece of musical pleasure.

Of all the songs played, the one that deserves the most praise is a song titled “Scotland Africa,” written by Erskine himself and arranged by Bill Dobbins. It was played well by the jazz ensemble. The song’s goal was to create a sound that emanated a Scottish feeling but kept sounds that originated from Africa. This mixture worked very well, and each musician hit the marks accordingly.

Check out the jazz program at Chabot. Whether you are an aspiring musician or a music enthusiast, I highly recommend you attend one of this school’s musical concerts and familiarize yourself with the wonderful world of performing arts.

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Faculty gets jiggy with it


Chabot Foundation put on gala event for Jazz Department

It was the first of its kind. An event in sullied economic times to support one of Chabot Colleges programs of higher learning, the Jazz Music Department. Led by veteran performer Laurie De Seguirant, a Frenchman with the poise, talent and personality to steal the show, and anchored by Chabot’s own musical greats maintenance worker Greg Correa and counselor extraordinaire Val Jean Dale, the night was a blissful time of reflection into some of the music’s past giants.

Mr. Laurie led the cast of entertainers with songs that most of the student body would have to rent old movies to understand . This is not to say that the chosen songs were other than magnificent, simply before the lifetime of this young student body and performed in a way that brought back memories of life past. They just don’t make them like they used too.

I heard old Blue Eyes, (Frank Sinatra for those who don’t know), some Barbara Streisand, maybe even some Mr. Dean Martin, (I remembered from the movies). Several things we’re striking, like the fact that Counselor Dale can sing and that Mr. Correa has the kind of personality that could go anywhere. I wondered why they aren’t doing this professionally now.

The fundraiser was put on by the Chabot Foundation, headed by Heidi Finburg, and planned on the fly in about two weeks, but looked as if it had been planned since Fall 2010 or earlier. The atmosphere was magnificent and the new Event Center was center stage for the performances of a lifetime. I normally haven’t subscribed to that era of music before, (except when I was younger and watched a lot of television) but even I was complemented by one of the entertainers and I was there merely as a reporter. Great job!

Counselor Dale and Mr. Correa were accompanied by the sultry sounds of saxophonist George Railey, the Dean of Academic Services, in a way that could have easily commanded attention and pay in any venue of jazz anywhere on the planet. I was impressed! These are certainly faculty personnel who put their best foot forward for the students of Chabot. I bow to you!!!

I always wanted to explore music as a part of my development but wasn’t able in times past so I am proud to appreciate those who took that opportunity to further their talents and provide all of us with an evening of grandeur. Folks you really missed a treat. Who would have thunk it that our resident rocker maintenance man could easily go from Rock to Potted Palm (LOL), then back to the white suit all in a day. Mr. Blue would have been proud!

The sharp lines of the suit worn by Mr. Correa and the beauty of the sequined dress worn by Mrs. Dale provided the backdrop of elegance that served to promote the exquisite sounds coming from the line of performers. They really know how to put on a show.

The campus really came together for this event. The staff included students from the Jazz Department, sound mixing was done by the students of the sound class, and the drinks were served by those exquisite young men from The Striving Black Brothers. Several other notables were alumni, teachers, and administrators from all around the campus. This was putting the community back into the campus. Hooray, I applaud the effort and hope that it doesn’t end. Never can anyone say that folks in this school care little for the students. A-Plusses for all!!

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“Rising” unknown artist Dana Salzman


Dana Salzman’s new album “Rising” is definitely the spirit of soul funk and first impression made vibes like Lucy Pearl come to mind. This native of Dayton, Ohio is a protégé of Slave, Bootsy Collins of Parliament Funkadelic and other late 70s couplings of soul and jazz talents.

The first couple of tunes quickly introduce a new retro spin. For some it might bring about a recalling of oneself, exploring music freely with a Casio or like version keyboard.

“Rising” is light, airy and more than singing. Salzman is simply speaking as a woman. Her music addresses things such as entertaining thoughts of loving, reminiscing, what’s good, what she wants, and feelings – it’s everyday, Sunday to Sunday.

If the album were lemonade it would be the chemistry between the mint and syrup, refreshingly sweet. If it was poker Salzman would be laying her cards on the table putting it all out there with everyday emotions.

Emotions perhaps in some souls are unspoken and in others are way too loud to be understood.  Salzman’s creativity inspires listeners to be freely jazzed about themselves and the everyday. Track 9 “Slow down,” for example, can be perfect for a moment to find a happy median and discover one’s life pitch and song.

Salzman’s talent began with her own being. Her musical fundamentals and piano lessons were taught by her mother. She obtained jazz exposure by Bay Area and Broadway’s very own Don Haas, who became her mentor at the age of 11.

“He taught me the foundations of improvising. He taught me how to understand chords and harmonies on a whole different level,” says Salzman referring to her mentor Haas.

Salzman attended California’s Stanford Jazz Workshop during the summers of 1993 and 1994. Her first band, from San Jose, was called Pigeon Talk.

Salzman later went on to earn her degree in jazz performance through New York’s New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Her first CD, “It’s Out Of Your Hands,” was released in 2007.

Salzman’s experience and inspiration brings new bars to music. Now she has returned to her second home, the Bay Area, to allow the aroma of her musical creativity to inspire and continue “rising.” Listen out for her in upcoming venues and events.

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