The American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble accompanied by the Natomas Charter Vocal Ensemble, filled the room with the sound of jazz with a dash of a surprisingly Latin flavor on March 13.
The audience was a mixture of people attending the concert for normal reasons and some that were a part of the jazz history class. The ARC Vocal Jazz Ensemble was directed by Dr. Art Lapierre and was made up of the beginning vocal jazz ensemble and the advanced vocal jazz ensemble.
“I always love the Vocal Jazz Ensemble; they’re always a good time and it is cool because there are always new faces in the beginning ensemble that you know and you probably have friends up there that you don’t even realize until you go,” said Valerie Dickenson, an audience member who came to see the show.
The ARC Vocal Jazz Ensemble has won many awards, including being voted Best Jazz Group by Sacramento Magazine in 2010. Singing with the ARC Vocal Jazz Ensemble was the Natomas Charter Jazz Ensemble. The director, Jacosa Limutau, used to go to ARC and was Lapierre’s student. She said she loves working with the ARC Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and that Lapierre was her teacher for many years and that she learned a lot from him.
“The advanced ensemble had a bossa-nova feel,” is what Lapierre had to say about the night’s concert. Lapierre has been directing the ARC Vocal Jazz Ensemble and said the reason for the Latin-sounding jazz is because the current ensemble is recording a Latin-style CD that will be available on their website ic.arc.losrios.edu/~vocaljazz/.
Alto singer Maryam Mirbagheri of the advanced ensemble came all the way from Persia and decided to go to ARC because of videos of the ensemble she watched on YouTube. “I knew every single one of the members before I moved and I knew Lapierre. I knew everybody and it freaks them out when I tell them.” She also said, “The main reason why I moved to Sacramento was for Lapierre.”
Advanced ensemble soprano singer Jessica Dacpano said the night’s concert went well and it was good preparation for the main goal in attending the Monterey Jazz Festival. The Monterey Jazz Festival is an event that will have around three thousand musicians. The ARC Vocal Jazz Ensemble will be competing against ensembles from different universities. The Monterey Jazz Festival will be held at the Monterey Fairgrounds on September 21-23, 2012.The ARC Vocal Jazz Ensemble will perform its end-of-the-year concert at ARC on May 9 at the American River College campus theater.