Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

April 25, 2006 > Jazz Dance - On Broadway

Jazz Dance - On Broadway

by Venkat Raman

The 11th annual jazz dinner dance fundraiser of the Mission San Jose High School's (MSJHS) Jazz Band and Performing Arts Department will take place on Friday, April 28 at the Marriott Hotel in Fremont. This all-student program will include six guest vocalists in addition to the jazz band. Monica Kraft, director of the MSJHS Band, has extended an invitation to the community to participate in this popular event.

What started as a modest affair held locally at the high school in the early years has blossomed into a popular event that has decidedly outgrown those facilities. For the past eight years, the Marriott Hotel in Fremont has been gracious enough to host this event, donating space and food. The allure of this great facility and the quality program offered by the student musicians under the direction of Kraft and vocal director Lee Glover should be irresistible.

This is a great opportunity for students to perform and entertain the audience. "We work all year for this dance," says Kraft, adding, "It takes about 40 songs to do this event. They range from traditional, swing to big band music." Latin, Rhythm and Blues and Rock music are represented. For example, I Feel Good by James Brown, Respect by Aretha Franklin, and many other popular songs can be enjoyed during the event. "There are some ballads and slow songs," adds Kraft, "People will recognize many of the songs presented, like In the Mood, Satin Doll, Take the 'A' Train. We have a lot more than 40 songs in our collection, but we choose mainly danceable songs for this event." Kraft has arranged the program such that everyone in the band of 38 students has a solo, quite an unusual feat.

Funds raised through this program are aimed primarily toward travel scholarships for the band as well as purchase of big-ticket items for the MSJHS Performing Arts Department and Jazz Band. The school band is renowned and enjoys regular invitations to international destinations, with past trips to Paris, London, Holland, and Scotland. The most recent trip was to Spain and an Australian visit is planned for April 2007. In addition to international trips, the band visits a number of domestic out-of-town locations as well.

The annual dinner dance event has attracted audience of all ages with something of interest to everyone. Free babysitting can be prearranged - mention it when you call for tickets. This year's theme is "On Broadway" where the vocalists sing jazz style Broadway songs and the decorations evoke scenes of New York.

Mission San Jose High School's Jazz Dinner Dance will take place on April 28 between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom, 46100 Landing Parkway, Fremont. Tickets are $55 per person. Call 510-888-4595 or email for tickets or any other information.

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