Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Jazz concert features two generations of talent

Karla Enriquez
Gemma Castro (right), vocalist for the Cerritos College Jazz Ensemble sings one of the two songs she performed at the Jazz Exchange Concert. She was part of a duet along with Zineb Fikri for Poncho Sanchez’ “Besame Mama.” Photo credit: Karla Enriquez

The Cerritos College students center was filled with an engaging audience as two different generations of musicians met up for the Fall Jazz Exchange Concert.

Both Valley Christian Middle School Jazz Ensemble and the Cerritos College Jazz Ensemble took turns showcasing their talents on stage on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The 17 student Christian Valley Jazz Ensemble, led by music director Eric Kooi, performed three songs followed by a 7 song set list performed by the Cerritos College Jazz Ensemble, led by Dr. David Betancourt.

Betancourt has known Kooi for sometime now and invites Christian Valley Middle School to these exchanges regularly in order to give the community to experience the caliber of music at a college level.

“It’s a way for us to do cultural outreach. We just feel like it’s really important to the music education experience,” Betancourt said.

Before the Cerritos College Jazz Ensemble performed, Betancourt invited the Christian Valley students to sit up on stage to watch the music go by and even perform, if they chose to, with the college students.

“It was really cool to watch the kids just enjoy the experience. I was watching them while we were playing and you can tell that they were digging it and I think it’s great that they had that opportunity to sit right up close with someone who’s been playing for a long time,” Betancourt said.

Kooi is a dedicated instructor who met Betancourt over 10 years ago and has collaborated together on many occasions.

He believes that bringing his students to experience these events is important to their future.

“Some of these kids may even want to go to school here. Getting them to here the band so that they get to hear more advanced players so they may have an idea of what they may sound like someday is neat.” Kooi said.

Many of the Christian Valley Middle School students took the opportunity to witness a first hand college level musical experience as they jumped on stage.

Ricky Rietveld, 8th grade, and both his parents, Faith and Richard Rietveld described the experience as heartwarming.

“We’re very proud of this young man [Ricky]. It keeps him out of trouble,” said father Richard Rietveld.

“I think it’s really good that the schools can do stuff together and I appreciate Cerritos College having us come here.” added Faith Rietveld, mother.

Betancourt sets up these performance exchanges for the music department not only for middle school, but for many different academic levels.

The Cerritos College Concert Band will also be taking part in an upcoming music exchange with Cal State Northridge here at Cerritos College in order for the students to experience the next level.

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About the Contributors
Kristopher Carrasco, Online Editor
My name is Kristopher Carrasco I'm that guy that went to college and didn't really know what to do. I just kind of jumped around until I was suddenly failing out of school. Then I found Talon Marks and little by little I started to understand what I wanted to do with my life and apparently it's journalism. The idea of gathering information from a variety of sources and re-telling it through visual or written story telling has engaged me in so much more than I ever thought possible. I love to work with Multimedia, but this year I have become Online Editor in hopes of learning a new skill set. I hope to be a music journalist in the future, but in the mean time I'll be finishing my last semester up at Cerritos College in the spring of 2016. I also love raccoons; like a lot.
Karla Enriquez, Managing Editor
'Ello! My name is Karla M. Enriquez and I am this semester's Managing & Investigative Editor. I'm a journalism major & hope to transfer to Berkeley in the very near future. I'm also very much into literature, politics, pop culture, art, and advocating for causes near and dear to me. I'm REALLY musically inclined so you'll probably catch me at a music event around town. If you catch me around campus feel free to stop me for a chat, I love meeting new people and sharing ideas. Catch me on social media as well. Twitter: karlamenriquez Snapchat:karlajonese
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Jazz concert features two generations of talent