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All jazzed up for BC music summit

Bakersfield College music students participating in this weekend's Panorama Creative Music Summit are hoping to learn new things.

They will.

The two-day event, which covers Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:30 to about 9:30 p.m. at BC's Simonsen Performing Arts Center, promises to give students performers and audiences the gamut in the so-called "creative music scene," a better expression than the overused "cutting edge" that once was so popular.

Music students will get to talk to studio musician Daniel Rosenboom, hear Los Angeles-based performers talk in a panel discussion, and perform original works by and with composer and instrumentalist Vinny Golia, while also getting to perform original student compositions. Students from the commercial music and the new jazz program will participate, and learn.

Guitarist Miguel Mejia, a sophomore music major who's working toward a music education degree, wants to gain perspective.

"With (last year's) gong orchestra, I had to figure out how to play this new instrument and make the right sounds," Mejia said.

Mejia is currently rehearsing Golia's music for this weekend's performance.

"It has a dissonant sound," Mejia said. "I'm learning to hear these different sounds."

"I've never played this kind of stuff; I'm gaining a different ear from this kind of stuff," Mejia said.

This will also be Marina Martinez's second summit performance. Martinez, a sophomore studying the bass, is another veteran of last year's gong orchestra led by Tatsuno Nakatani, Martinez will also perform with Golia.

"Last year, I got a lot of knowledge on a very different instrument," Martinez said. "When you get involved (in such an event) you get to be hands on. It's just the knowledge of how everything works."

Martinez, who hopes to become a studio musician, said she values this type of opportunity.

"I just want to get good enough to play my bass and keep going from there," Martinez said.

"What I hope to get out of this hopefully is to get more experience playing with musicians who are better than me," Josh Faria said.

Faria, also a sophomore and bassist, is new to the summit, and is increasingly interested in music technology, the production side of the business and focus of the commercial music program. He will also perform with Golia's group, but wants a few words with studio musician Daniel Rosenboom, who has performed on a number of film scores including  "Venom," "Christopher Robin," "Deadpool 2," and has worked with John Williams on last two Star Wars films.

Faria said he hopes the summit experience will help him develop his own art.

"Just more opportunities to get better creatively and learn new things," Faria said.

This is the summit's second year. The brainchild of BC music professors Josh Ottum and Kris Tiner, the event mixes the business and technical side of music with the creative side, giving students the opportunity to run the production as well as create material for the event and perform.

As much as the students will learn by doing, they will also learn by listening to others. In addition to the discussion sessions with the artists, the students will join the audience in listening to what's new in the creative music scene. On Friday evening, Golia will perform with his sextet including saxophonist Gavin Templeton, Rosenboom on trumpet, guitarist Alexander Noice, bassist Miller Wrenn and Andrew Lessman on drums. Bakersfield-based dream pop group Fawns of Love will demonstrate what shoegazing is all about with its ethereal atmospheric sound.

On Saturday, a band with a gross-sounding name will create music out of thin air. Purple Gums, a trio of tenor sax, cornet and tuba, will demonstrate the creative music process in its most essential form, as William Roper, Bobby Lee Bradford and Francis Wong mix jazz, free improvisation, ragtime and classical music on the spot and serve up musical magic.

The summit closes with a performance by drummer James McAlister, a musical polymath — performer, composer, engineer and producer — who, in addition to numerous performing credits (including extended tours with Sufjan Stevens and the indie group Ester Drang), contributed to the Bob Dylan biography "I'm Not There."

Admission to the summit is free.

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