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Summer Jazz Concert

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Date(s) - 07/30/2023
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Dogwood Forum, Columbia College


Columbia College presents a Summer Jazz Concert on Sunday, July 30, 2023 at 4 p.m. at the Dogwood Forum on the Columbia College Campus.

Rod Harris directs local musicians performing Big Band style jazz. Special guests include percussionist Mario Flores and guitarist Johnny Valdes.

Admission is free.

Mario Flores is a local favorite who founded the Mario Flores Latin Jazz Band in 1989 and is admired for performances in the region serving up rhythmically vibrant soundscapes in the tradition of Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Chano Pozo, Carlos Santana, Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo. His repertoire includes Latin jazz, pop and original arrangements as well as Afro-Cuban classics presented in the “tropo- bopo” style.

Johnny Valdes is an accomplished musician performing in the bay area and the central
valley. You can hear a lot of history in Valdes’ guitar playing, but he cites his diverse Guitar influences of Jimi Hendrix, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, John Scofield and Pat Metheny. Some of the masters that have helped shape his approach are Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock and Chris Potter.

He has opened for and played with the Chris Cain Band, with Dave Kirk Mathews, Bruce Forman, John Stowell, Mark Little, Mic Gillette of Tower of Power, Roy Rodgers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, Gabriel Manzo of MALO, Blues great Lady Bianca, Gloria Scott formerly of Sly and the Family Stone, and others.

“Although like all great artists Johnny has strong ideas about how jazz, a technical music, should be played. He balances this with his musical and human chops that make him an asset in any group, any bandstand USA,” Harris said.

The Columbia Kicks Big Band is a 20 piece ensemble made from local musicians. Their concerts have continued to please audiences in the foothills for decades.