Jazz n’ jambalaya spiced up the Griffin

By John Weber

The Griffin Center continued its celebration of Black History Month on Thursday, Feb. 16, with the food court serving Jamaican-inspired food and the Jazz Music Department playing classic jazz standards.

The menu included jambalaya, sweet chicken curry sandwiches, jerk chicken tacos, and chicken ranch pizza. Being a foodie, I was particularly interested in the jambalaya. As the man behind the counter said “they hooked it up with the jambalaya today.”

Mmm-mmm, a bowl of jambalaya (Photo: John Weber)

They say the first bite is always the best. I would have to disagree because every bite of the jambalaya tasted new and exciting.  There were tons of sausage and chicken. The rice soaked up the sauce perfectly and the spices weren’t too overpowering. It was some of the best jambalaya I’ve had in Southern California.

Malcolm Jones plays saxopone and Patrick Escalante trombone (Photo: John Weber)

I was about half way done with my food when the jazz combo started to play. The band consisted of Malcolm Jones on saxophone, Patrick Escalante, trombone, Neil Monteleone, keyboard, Dave Votel on the bass, and Eric Pratt on drums.  They played for a little over and hour with melodies like On The Sunny Side of the Street and All Blues.

Monteleone, who is originally from New Orleans, is one of the greatest Jazz pianists we have at Grossmont. Jones’s saxophone playing was smooth and full of emotion. Votel, Monteleone and Pratt make up one of the best rhythm sections that we have at Grossmont. You can tell that Escalante puts his heart into his music.

Throughout the performance students were sipping on coffee, doing homework, and simply listening. If you would like to see the Jazz combo perform again, Thursday, Feb. 28th at noon is the last time they are playing for Black History Month in the Griffin Center.

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Weber is a student in Media Comm 132A.  john.weber@gcsummit.com

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