Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Concert Review: A combo night that went as smoothly as molasses

Students and family filled the seats of the Fullerton College Campus Theatre to watch their friends and loved ones perform in the 17th Annual Jazz Combo Night. The concert featured three award winning

Combo Night 3
Combo 3 performing onstage at the Fullerton College Theatre Thursday night directed by Mike Scott. Photo credit: Kristine Jaranilla

instrumental jazz combos performing written and improvised jazz ranging in style from dixieland to fusion.

The show was delayed start at the beginning because of the active shooter drill that took place at the same time as the performance, so everyone in the building waited until the drill was done.

Each group did their absolute best on Thursday night and had the crowd foot tapping and nodding their heads to the beat of the drums and the rhythm of the bass.


The first group to perform was Combo Three directed by Mike Scott. They played songs “Cheryl” by Charlie Parker, “Timeline” by Patt Metheny, “Michelle” by The Beatles and a song from a band called Snarky Puppy.

Everyone in the group had a chance to showcase their talents by having their own solos, including newcomer James Owens on the tenor saxophone, that just joined the group this semester.

Scott acknowledged his group by saying that they were a joy to work with and that they worked really hard to put on their show.

Combo Night 2
Combo 2, directed by Dr. Joe Jewell, performing at Combo Night on the 14th. Photo credit: Kristine Jaranilla


Combo two, or as Bruce Babad calls them, Dr. Joe and the Jewells, was lead by Dr. Joe Jewell. They played songs from Gordon Goodwin, David Hazeltine and A Cool Minor Blues. Like the first group, each person in the group had a chance to shine, with Jonah Stoffers haing stand out solos while playing the saxophone.

In between songs, Dr. Joe Jewell thanked Dave Hatmaker for mixing the sound for all of the bands to sound amazing and to the Fullerton College Theatre Operations for making this event possible.


Bruce Babad’s group was the last to perform and before they started their set, he gave a lengthy speech about a few things like how the combo nights have been going on for the last 16 to 17 years and how he loves “staring at people staring at music.”

He gave a shout out to Scott when he said, “If our top group back then sounded as good as Mike Scott’s group, it would have been amazing.”

Combo Night 1
Combo 1 performing onstage directed by Bruce Babad on April 14, 2016 at the Fullerton College Theatre Photo credit: Kristine Jaranilla

He also helped out the students that were attending the show for their History of Rock classes by saying that the third song Scott’s group played was “Michelle” by The Beatles. Then he cracked jokes on his own group by mentioning how Shay Mehrdad is like Stan Getz by not bringing up any sheets for his part because he memorized it all in his head.

Combo one played songs “Straight No Chaser” by Thelonious Monk, “Chameleon” by Herbie Hancock, “Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd and “Tramontana” by Steve Hamilton and Tim Garland.

Nico Vasquez played a fantastic drum solo during the song Chameleon where it seemed like he could drum for days on end with such passion and vigor with each strike of the drums.

Over all the crowd seemed to appreciate the performances that were put on throughout the night and the performers seemed to enjoy themselves on stage while putting on a show.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Hornet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *