Orchestra celebrates acclaimed trumpeter

Clay Jenkins, a world-famous trumpeter, will accompany the Cal State Fullerton Jazz Orchestra in a live musical performance Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Meng Concert Hall.

The performance will include a tribute to the late Patti Page with Bill Holman’s arrangement of the Tennessee Waltz and a new arrangement of “Old Cape Cod.”

Music by Steely Dan and Jimi Hendrix will also be featured.

Under the direction of Grammy-Award winner Bill Cunliffe, the Jazz Orchestra will have the opportunity to enhance their artistry along with one of the most talented trumpeters in the music industry.

“Clay Jenkins is among one of the most influential jazz trumpeters and trumpet instructors in the United States today,” said Marc Dickey, Ph.D., chair of the Music Department. “We are thrilled and fortunate to have him on campus for a two-day residency.”

Trumpeters and jazz musicians will receive personal lessons from Jenkins, who will teach a variety of workshops on campus.

“I love meeting and playing with young players” said Jenkins. “That’s part of the music, to be able to help other people, be it musicians or listeners, it is more of a giving than taking situation.”

Jenkins, whose father was a Jazz musician, expressed his love and gratitude for music as a whole.

“I love the challenges in the music industry, the artistry of it and watching it grow,” Jenkins said.

With more than 40 years of experience as a musician, Jenkins is full of advice for future artists.

Jenkins suggested for students and musicians embarking on a career in the music industry to go for depth in all aspects in their musicality.

“I strive for my students to have more depth, because it gives them more options, and therefore more choices, and so it makes them more versatile and more artistic,” Jenkins said. “Making a living (in the recording industry) is not easy, but I think the art will prevail and grow.”

Along with recording, performing and teaching, Jenkins has learned a lot from traveling around the world.

“People really think of jazz as being one of the very few truly American art forms.” said Jenkins. “I think (jazz) is a world music now.

Students in the Department of Music will have the opportunity to showcase their talents and receive constructive criticism from a living legend.

Senior Tim Johnson, commercial jazz performance major and pianist, sat down with me and discussed music, the Jazz Orchestra and his experience in the music department at CSUF.

“It’s something unique … it will change people’s perspective of what jazz is,” said Johnson.

Johnson, who has been a part of the music program for four years, now considers the department as family and highly recommends the program.

“(Cunliffe) has taught me a lot about relationships and working in the music world and obviously he taught me a lot about mastering the instrument,” said Johnson. “He has taught me about arranging music and how to maintain your statement as an artist, without losing your audience.”

“Rubbing elbows and learning from some of the greatest musicians in their fields contributes immeasurably to the quality of education our students receive,” said Dickey.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for senior citizens.

Tickets can be purchased at the Clayes Performing Arts Center box office or online at the College of the Arts website, Fullerton.edu/Arts.

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