RCC: College’s Jazz Group Honored; Win Reno Competition
Riverside, CA – Riverside City College’s Jazz Ensemble won the Reno Jazz Festival competition the last weekend in April, and Down Beat magazine has selected the College’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo group as the nation’s best among community colleges.
The Jazz Festival at the University of Nevada, Reno is the largest music competition in the country. This year, over 350 bands competed. RCC placed first and third in Jazz Ensemble category. The College’s top group won the event, and its second ensemble placed third, behind Mt. San Antonio College. Several students in the program also were honored. Andrew Valenzuela won the Outstanding Saxophonist Award in the College and University division, which included musicians from both two- and four-year universities. Nine other students — Sebastian Siojo, Luke Bither, Randy Plummer, Diego Fuentes, Elias Rodriguez, LJ Manns, Anthony Duran, Alec Richard and Andrew Alvarado — were rewarded with individual Outstanding Musicianship awards. A complete list of winners can be found at http://www.unr.edu/rjf/Winners.html.
Down Beat magazine, which was founded in 1934, is devoted to jazz and blues music. Each year, the magazine experts select the best and brightest student musicians in the country. This year was Down Beat’s 40th year selecting the top players and groups.
In addition to having two performance groups named the best in the country, Valenzuela, a graduate of La Sierra High School, was honored for his arrangement, On Green Dolphin Street, as the Outstanding Arrangement by a community college student.
“Andrew is obviously a remarkable talent, with national awards for music writing and saxophone performance,” Charlie Richard, professor of Music, said. “He is one of quite a number of outstanding musician students we have here at the College, which is testament to the terrific instruction occurring in our area high schools and the environment at RCC.”
RCC will be hosting its annual Jazz Festival on May 12-13, featuring guest artist Bobby Shew. The festival is free and open to the public. For all musical events at the Henry Coil, Sr. and Alice Eden Coil School for the Arts, log on to http://www.coilschoolforthearts.com/events.htm.