The College of the Canyons jazz choirs presented a series of cabaret style performances in the main lobby of the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, on Wednesday, March 14th.
A cappella jazz group from Creston, Iowa and COC vocal jazz choirs showed the groups’ singing talents and provided community members with a new show to experience vocal jazz and a cappella music.
“I am delighted that our devoted music faculty has created this unique opportunity that will enhance our students’ performance skills, and give the community a chance to experience music in a new way,” COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook said.
Two COC vocal jazz groups House Blend and Just Jazz opened the first cabaret show and were joined by touring vocal jazz ensemble “Audio Radiance”.
“Inviting other visiting artists to perform will also provide excellent opportunities for our students to work with fellow musicians,” Julie Lawson said. “And allows us to share our love of vocal jazz with the community.”
Audio Radiance is a seven-member vocal ensemble focusing on R&B/Soul literature. All members are students of Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa.
Directed by Jason Smith, who earned a Grammy nomination for his work on the album “Night in the City”, the jazz ensemble tours and performs on various concerts.
Audio Radiance headlined at several national jazz festivals in Chicago, Denver, New York and Winnipeg and recently performed for the International Association of Jazz Educators Convention.
This year, Audio Radiance will perform on concerts throughout the San Francisco Bay and greater Los Angeles areas.
“Basically, COC music department came together and organized this show,” said an organizer of Chancellor’s Cabaret Series. “We have been searching for an intimate performance setting with good acoustics — and the University Center provides that,” added Julie Lawson, artistic director of the COC choral department. “This is a perfect place for concerts in the whole college. It’s like performing at the Disney Hall except it’s free. We are very lucky to have this building.”
“I like the beginning of the concert but at the end it was so loud that it wasn’t enjoyable,” a concert attendee said. “I love classic music and jazz and I really like COC choirs. The only thing, I think the last jazz group should dress alike. But in general I love this show.”
All ticket profits will benefit the COC jazz choirs.
“We will have the next concert in May and it will be better. We will add cocktail tables, beverage service, and much more,” announced organizers.
Next performances will include the presence of COC Culinary students, who will serve food and wine to attendees, as a part of COC’s Culinary Arts campaign.
Following performances in the Chancellor’s Cabaret Series have been scheduled for May, early fall and December.