A Night of Jazz


Chris Michel-Pierre

The Phoenix Jazz Orchestra showcase took place Wednesday at Valencia East Campus.

The humanities department invited everyone out to see the Phoenix Jazz Orchestra showcase at Valencia Community College East Campus this week. The room was filled with live energy, an interesting guest list, and an emancipated love for music.

“Jazz music is a form of communicating,” said Phoenix Orchestra director Gary Listort.

Before the show there was rambunctious chatter about what to anticipate from the performers to the expected musical pieces that would be performed. At the end of it all, the audience was drawn in from the beginning of the show until the end.

A small but important piece of history on the orchestra is where they originated their name, Phoenix Jazz Orchestra.

“The name is from the mythological phoenix bird that never dies, like our music never dies,” said Listort.

Many musicians were in this band; a saxophonist, pianist, guitarist, trombonist, and a trumpeter. Listort took over the Phoenix Jazz Orchestra in 2008 and has been in the music industry for 42 years. His passion is writing, while also gaining inspiration from one of his favorite composers Duke Ellington.

With this being the first Jazz concert we’ve attended, we felt that it was a great success and very educational. The most popular style is swing jazz, which was in the top 40 of its day. A popular song from that era they performed was In the Mood, the Tonight Show version.

This band was amazing. They took us through the whole jazz era from the beginning of jazz to Latin jazz to the blues. A couple of popular songs that were played were Amazing Grace, Can’t Take My Eyes off You, and Moonlight in Vermont.

They also performed Dixie land jazz, swing, bebop, cool, and funky jazz.

Closing out the show was the Dean of Humanities David Sutton with the blues playing Let Me Ride in Your Automobile.

Despite the nasty weather, The Phoenix Jazz Orchestra did an amazing job showcasing their musical abilities.