UNR’s jazz band performs for ARC


Jef Derderian, a trumpet player for the UNR jazz band, performs with fellow band members at American River College in music room 548.

Lena DoBynes and Lena DoBynes

The University of Nevada, Reno jazz band was invited to perform for the American River College Studio Jazz Ensemble and the rest of the campus on Thursday in music room 548.

ARC was one of three stops for the band, which is on a mini tour in the Sacramento area and  has played at some of the local high schools to help promote the university’s music program.

The event was their fifth performance in two days, according to band conductor Larry Engstrom, the director of the School of Arts at the university.

The event brought many to the performance, where the band played a five song set, which was followed by a request for an encore performance from the audience.

“Value” by Neil Slater started off the set and was followed by Darcy James Argue’s “The Neighborhood,” which highlighted the band’s guitar player, Nick Mills and tenor saxophone player, Eric Johnson.

The third song, “Still,” composed by Steve Owen, featured a solo by Jef Derderian, the band’s trumpet player

Chris Sexton, the band’s piano player, played a solo in the fourth song, a ‘70s classic by Rob McConnell entitled “Just Friends” with solos also by Graham Marshall on violin, Miguel Jimenez on drums and Nat Kline and Derek Fong, an ARC alum, on tenor saxophones.

Nathan Smith’s “Rhetoric Machine” finished off the set and, not too long after its last notes, the audience was asking for an encore.

The encore piece, entitled “Namaste,” by Nate Kimbell calmed the excited crowded and effectively ended the event on a tranquil note.

Overall the performance by UNR’s jazz band was well-received.

Louie Goodenough, a music major, heard about the event for the past week in his classes and attended the performance to see what the band had to offer.

According to Goodenough, who has played the saxophone for three years, he most looked forward to the band’s sound as a whole as well as its saxophone section.

“It (was) refreshing to hear a band play music you wouldn’t typically (hear) a college band play,” said Goodenough.

Fong, who performed with the band on saxophone, said that although it felt a little weird playing at his old school, but it was “cool” to see old friends and show them the progress he has made.

Engstrom ended the event by inviting all in the audience to consider UNR as a possible transfer option.

“We exist at UNR,” said Engstrom.