The German Youth Jazz Orchestra came to town on Friday, August 5th to perform for Downtown Inc’s Summer Concert Series. They were originally scheduled to begin at 5pm but were stuck in LA traffic, so they didn’t start until 6:30. I got a call at 4:30 pm from a Downtown Inc representative asking for a keyboard and 22 music stands. My first thought was that it would be impossible to acquire the equipment in time for the original start time, 5:00 pm. I made a call to David López, director of instrumental music at Santa Ana College who was vacationing at his ranch in Arizona, and explained that there was this rare concert about to happen downtown, so he made a call to security at Santa Ana College to open the music department building for me.
Luckily everything came together quickly and people were treated to a solid performance from a big band in the style of the older bands of the swing era. The German Youth Jazz Orchestra displayed excellent musicianship, mastery, style and improvisational skills within the big band swing genre.
The GYJO performs tonight at Steamer’s Cafe in downtown Fullerton.