All of the elements were in place for the 2nd Annual Jazzy Jam Concert at the Pasadena Rose Bowl last Saturday. Amidst clear skies and moderate temperatures, jazz, funk and caribbean music filled the souls of those in attendance.
Jazzy Jam 2010 is a benefit concert supporting Pasadena's youth. Jacqueline Snell, producer of Jazzy Jam 2010, has devoted her resources from the entertainment community to fill a void created by dwindling financial situation of Pasadena Unified School District.
City of Pasadena Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, is also one the biggest supporters of this venture. She has committed to the help raise awareness about the importance of bringing music back into schools as well as to the community.
"I'm proud that the proceeds of Jazzy Jam will benefit the students of John Muir High and the Flintridge Foundation," says Councilwoman Robinson.
Among those who made an appearance at last Saturday's concert was world-renowned jazz violinist Karen Briggs. She believes jazz is suffering somewhat in the United States. While concerned about the sagging popularity of jazz in the United States, she is optimistic it will always be around. It may not generate the money of rock, but there will be an audience for it.
"Outside the US jazz is much more popular," says Briggs. "I was in Jakarta, Indonesia, the largest jazz festival in the world, where there were over 100 thousand tickets sold. It's up to parents to expose kids to jazz and keep the legacy alive."
The sparse yet diverse audience was festive. Sunshine Zerda, who just moved back to Los Angeles two weeks ago from New York says jazz is "warmth to my soul". She adds, "This event made my weekend more beautiful. The weather was perfect. I am glad to able to come out and support this worthy cause."
Da'Von Baca, guitarist in the Muir Jazz Band, got to perform before his hometown crowd but, more importantly, for his mother Fabiola Baca. Just one day before she witnessed Da'Von perform for the first time. He participated in the John Muir Music Clinic.
"I was so excited and extremely proud, it was a heart-warming experience," says Fabiola.
Jacqueline added, "I am in year 2 of my 5-year plan to continue to grow and bring jazz to Pasadena while helping our kids"