BC hosts annual KCMEA Jazz Day

Madeline Ruebush, Reporter

The KCMEA Jazz Day returned this spring for its sixth annual showcase of jazz ensembles from all over Kern County. Hosted by Kern County Music Educators’ Association and the Bakersfield College Jazz Studies Program, the all-day event displays talent from middle schoolers to BC faculty.

Jazz Day 2 – Ridgeview High School Jazz Ensemble performs. (Madeline Ruebush)

This year’s Jazz Day was held on April 13 in the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center Indoor Theater, starting in the morning, and lasting until late afternoon.

Several high school and middle school bands performed as well as the BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble with Paul Tynan and the Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble. And, as mentioned, Paul Tynan, an internationally acclaimed trumpeter, composer, and jazz recording artist and special guest for this year’s event not only performed but worked directly with students that attended. Students were able to interact directly with him during the Jazz Studies Faculty Breakout Workshops.

The audience, though filling in and out as this event is a day of concerts and not just one, consistently applauded throughout each performance for soloists and any music arrangement they were impressed by.

“I come every year,” Sandy Tiner said when asked if she was enjoying the performances. “I enjoy seeing all the kids perform and I wish more of the community would come.” Her son works as a professor at BC and was also performing that day with the BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble. She also brought her daughter along to enjoy the day with her.

Another audience member, Wyatt Archibald also commented on how he was enjoying the show and touched on how well he thought BC had put on the event, mentioning how much he liked the stage. He also liked that high school bands were encouraged to perform.

Jazz day has been put on nearly every year since 2016 with the exception of a necessary two-year hiatus because of Covid. The event gives middle school bands, high school bands, college bands, and beyond a chance to perform in the Indoor Theater at Bakersfield College while providing an enjoyable and free event for the public to enjoy.