H-SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Feb 8, 2013 2:01 PM by Dan Shadwell

Cuesta music instructors jam in 8th Annual Jazz Faculty Concert tonight

When you think of musicians performing here on the Central Coast, college professors may not immediately come to mind. But when the Cuesta College jazz music educators aren't in the classroom, you can frequently find them jamming in the performing arts building.
In today's local spotlight, that crew's warming up for the 8th Annual Jazz Faculty Concert tonight with guest artist Inga Swearingen.
She explains that singing jazz, particularly the improvisation aspect, is a wild ride.
"I don't surf," she says, "... but I can imagine it would be a lot like cresting the wave and riding that. It's like something bigger than you that you're just a part of and you're riding it and hoping not to fall off. Yeah, it's an incredible feeling."
Ron McCurley directs jazz studies at Cuesta. He says the ad-lib portions in jazz tunes can be like an out-of-body experience.
"Nothing is better than when you're improvising and it's going well," McCurley says, "...and when it's going well, you're not really thinking about much either."
I ask if his students are surprised by their instructors' performance abilities. He smiles. "I always encourage the students to come check out their teachers because you see a side of us that we can't totally show in a classroom and it's how we interact and really do music."
Tonight's performance is at the Cultural and Performing Arts Center on the Cuesta College SLO campus and starts at 7:30pm.
Tickets are $7 for students, seniors, and jazz federation members, $12 for everyone else, but parking in lot two is free.
All the proceeds from friday night's concert go to scholarships in the music department.
For more information, check out the links section at ksby.com

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