BC Jazz Ensemble treats the crowd to ‘Soul Jazz’

Mario Saldaña, Reporter

The BC Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kris Tiner, got a well-deserved ovation during their soul jazz performance that covered a variety of legendary jazz music by Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and more.

The band played its set at the Bakersfield College Simonsen Performing Arts Center on Nov. 21, performing from various ranges of jazz, gospel and soul. The proceeds from the cover charge for the event went toward the BC Jazz Program to support the ensemble and the program.

The concert started with Tiner giving a small introduction about jazz, information about the music they were about to play which included gospel, soul, and smooth jazz, what jazz meant during the 60’s era and why he chose that era and a special thank you to those who came that night to support the band. The ensemble opened up by playing “Cantaloupe Island,” an easy-listening soul jazz song composed by Herbie Hancock in 1964.

Other standout songs that were played during the concert were “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” which was a single from Ray Charles and featured BC student Mason Edwards on guest vocals. Edwards received a big ovation at the end of the song for his vocal performance.

“Cristo Redentor” by Duke Pearson was a song that sounded very familiar and was featured on the Netflix original Luke Cage. A lot of members of the ensemble had their own moments of fame by playing individual solos that would last a good minute or two, giving a stellar indivdual performance.

The concert ended with what Tiner picked as the most fun song to play, “Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones, famously known for being featured on the Austin Powers movie, which had all of the audience smiling when they recognized the piece.

Tiner chose this set list and these jazz artists because he felt that the 1960s was a great time for jazz that had many influential jazz composers with different styles. The next event that the BC jazz ensemble has planned is the second annual KCMEA Jazz Day at Bakersfield College, which will be an all-day event that will showcase bands all throughout Kern County.