Big band, big show in Columbia

Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat /

The Columbia Jazz Artist Series will present its 34th annual Big Band Jazz Festival on Friday and Saturday in the Dogwood Theater on the Columbia College campus.

The event will be attended by 16 Northern California high school and middle school jazz ensembles and will include three evening concerts that are open to the public.

The concerts will feature trumpet and trombone legend Mic Gillette along with Los Angles recording artist Mike Rocha on trumpet, big band composer Bob Secor on piano and trumpet and Monterey Jazz festival's Paul Contos on sax and flute.

The college big band will also feature special guests Ken Taylor and Jamie Dubberly on trombones, Clinton Day on bass, Jim Anderson on drums and Mario Flores on congas.

The festival will run from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday with performances by the school groups and workshops with the festival headliners. The Summerville High School band, directed by Jeff Johnson, will be featured at 12:50 p.m. Friday.

Daytime events are free and open to the public.

Friday concerts will begin at 5:30 and 8 p.m. The festival will conclude on Saturday with a large jam session at 3 p.m. and then the evening concert at 5 p.m.

The jam session is free as part of the daytime festival. Evening concerts are $20 with reserved seating.Tickets for the 8 p.m. show Friday will be available at the door. Advance purchase is recommended for the other shows since they are nearly sold out.

The big band will perform a wide variety of selections featuring all of the festival artists including Henry Mancini's "This Had Better Be Tonight" and the Ray Charles hit "Hallelujah, I Love Her So." Also featured will be several vocal selections along with a few swing hits, standards, Latin tunes and Dixieland favorites.

Mic Gillette is widely known for his work as an original member of Tower of Power. He has been a recording artist on hundreds of albums and has toured with Santana, Huey Lewis and the Doobie Brothers.

Mike Rocha toured for a year with the nostalgia Glenn Miller Band and is a regular member of the Five and Dime Band at Disneyland. With the Glenn Miller Band, Rocha traveled to 48 states, three times across Canada and to Japan for a month, performing over 300 shows. After touring, he taught music performance at the San Joaquin Delta College alongside drummer Brian Kendrick and pianist Aaron Garner.

Bob Secor has published more than 300 compositions for band, orchestra and jazz groups. He performs on both piano and trumpet.

Paul Contos is the educational director for the Monterey Jazz Festival and performs and records throughout the world including annual tours of Japan, South America and major European Jazz festivals.

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