On Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m., noted jazz saxophonist Doug Webb gave a free concert at the Pollock Theatre at College of the Desert, which the Arts Department announced was sold out.
Student Rafael Rodriguez, a music major at COD, who had the opportunity to play with Webb in COD’s jazz ensemble, described it as one of his best musical experiences and that it was refreshing to play with such a great musician. Rodriguez and the student jazz ensemble worked together the day of the concert to prepare the pieces they were to play. He mentioned that he did not feel rushed or pressured since Webb is such a confident and experienced musician, and this attitude rubbed off on the jazz ensemble.
The concert amazed him, the songs had strong melody points and he could feel that the audience was really into the music. This has come a long way since jazz groups and big band style was introduced at COD by Dr. Anthony Fesmire, “The concerts are always free!” he exclaimed. Rodriguez has one suggestions for the college, he hopes COD will provide more enlightening experiences like this and gives a special thanks to Dr. Fesmire.
Mikael Jacobson, a music faculty member and bass player, told The Chaparral it was a real treat to play with Doug Webb, “he’s a world class artist, and among the best musicians I’ve accompanied onstage,” he said. Jacobson met Webb for the first time 90 minutes before the concert started. He said Webb learned difficult music by ear with the trio in 45 minutes, which he said was ‘insane.’ In Jacobson’s opinion, the most important thing about the concert was the inclusion of the COD Jazz Ensemble. “Not only did it give the students an opportunity to play with a master, it exposed the capacity house to what’s going on at COD. I’m not sure many people outside of COD knew we had a Jazz band of this caliber. My parents have already put the next Jazz Ensemble concert on their calendar.”
Being able to bring Doug Webb to COD and the desert community was huge. The music most certainly meant different things to different people. As he spoke to a few people after the concert, reactions ranged from “That was unbelievable!” to “The music went over my head!”