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Jazz X-Press has ‘Tricks’ up sleeve for fall concert

Trevor Whitney

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Daniel Michelson, junior mechanical engineering major, intently plays piano during the Jazz X-Press rehearsal Oct. 14 at the Performing Arts Center. Photo credit: John Domogma

Chico State’s Jazz X-Press will present its annual fall concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Harlen Adams Theatre. The concert, appropriately named “Tricks & Treats,” will feature plenty of both from the elite ensemble and its special guests.

“In addition to the sounds of Jazz X-Press playing some great music, we offer two of my best friends that also happen to be two of the best musicians on planet Earth,” said Rocky Winslow, the Jazz X-Press director and Chico State director of jazz studies.

Winslow’s pals, Paul Romaine and Mark “Modern Man” Patterson, will begin practicing with the ensemble just three days before the concert.

Romaine, an accomplished drummer, is an instructor at the University of Colorado Boulder and started playing professionally when he was 14 years old. He’s the Peyton Manning of jazz education in the Denver metropolitan area, where he founded the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts.

Patterson is the trombonist for Denver-based jazz band Convergence, of which Romaine is also a part, and has nationally toured with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Steely Dan and Dave Matthews.

Jazz X-Press ideally features four trumpet players, four or five trombones, five saxophone players and a rhythm section with guitar, piano, bass and drums. That is before any guest musicians and Winslow on trumpet are included.

The musicians of the ensemble will play some standards, but trumpet player Mike Snow says they’ll usually add Thad Jones charts — because “Rocky loves Thad Jones” — along with songs familiar to the guest musicians.

“One of the songs we’re playing was actually written by Mark Patterson,” Snow said. “So typically, whoever the guest is, we’ll know their stuff and they can just come in and, y’know, kill.”

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Concert Details

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 25
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Harlen Adams Theatre
  • Price for Chico State student: $6

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Tickets are available online or at the University Box Office.

Trevor Whitney can be reached at [email protected] or @nicegrandmas on Twitter.

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Jazz X-Press has ‘Tricks’ up sleeve for fall concert