Latin Jazz opens for the Woodcreek Jazz Festival

The American River College Latin Jazz ensemble opens on the last day of the Woodcreek Jazz Festival on Feb. 24. (Photo by Michael Pacheco)

The American River College Latin Jazz Ensemble was the opening act on the last day of the 17th annual Woodcreek Jazz Festival on Feb. 24.

The festival, which showcased high school jazz ensembles from across Northern California and Nevada, ran Feb. 23 – Feb. 24 at Woodcreek High School in Roseville. Though the audience was relatively small, the reception was warm to the energetic performance.

The Latin Jazz Ensemble’s setlist included “Slowvisor” by Eddie Palmieri, “Sway” by Pablo Ruiz, “213 Cha Cha” by David Torres, “Nem Às Paredes Confesso” by Ferrer Trindade, and finishing the set with Joe Cuba and Jimmy Sabater’s “Bang Bang.”

The songs were picked by instructor Dyne Eifertsen and students in the ensemble. Vocalist Omar Huerta said he chose to sing “Sway” because of his history with the song.

The American River College Latin Jazz ensemble opens on the last day of the Woodcreek Jazz Festival on Feb. 24. (Photo by Michael Pacheco)

“I performed [“Sway”] a few years ago in choir, and I messed it up bad. I wanted to perform it as a redemption song for myself,” Huerta said.

The audience was mostly comprised of high school students from various ensembles across the state and their parents. Since this was the opening act, there were many seats open.

As soon as the band played its first note, the energy in the room increased, with nearly everyone in the audience fully engaged with the music; wide smiles and heads bobbing with the rhythms were in abundance.

At the end of the last set, the audience roared in applause. One member of the ensemble agreed that the show was well-executed.

“This was honestly our best run of our music compared to past years and even our rehearsals leading up to the concert,” percussionist Nick Stinson said.

The next performance for the Latin Jazz Ensemble will take place on March 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the ARC Main Theater. They will be performing with the ARC Studio Jazz Ensemble.

Price of admission will be $8 general or $5 for students and seniors. Parking will be available in lot D for $2.

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About the Author

Michael Pacheco
Michael Pacheco is a fourth-year student at American River College. This is his third semester writer for The Current. Pacheco is a Journalism major, with plans to transfer to Sacramento State University in the fall. A music coach, he plans on getting into education.

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