One World Festival features CSUN Jazz Ensemble


Members of CSUN Jazz ensemble get ready for One World Art and Music Festival with late-night rehearsal. Photo credit: Carl Robinette / Daily Sundial

Carl Robinette

Members of CSUN Jazz ensemble get ready for One World Art and Music Festival with late-night rehearsal. Photo credit: Carl Robinette / Daily Sundial

CSUN Jazz students will be in the company of international artists from across several different genres of music at the One World Art and Music Festival in Simi Valley on Saturday and Sunday.

The two-day festival is a celebration of multiculturalism with a diverse line-up ranging from the classical piano stylings of Dmitry Rachmanov and African rhythms of Ayo Adeyemi, to the face-melting guitar licks of Edwin Alpanian.

“I am excited to be performing alongside some of the highly successful artists affiliated with CSUN,”  said Rachmanov, also a CSUN music professor, in an email interview.  “When you have such a caliber of artists contributing to such an artistic and humanitarian endeavor, you cannot help being excited, proud and happy to participate,” he added.

Rachmanov will be performing music from composers of eighteenth and nineteenth century Russian Romanticism, Saturday at 6:15 p.m.

“I want students to come for a good time,” said Ah-Jeong Kim, the event’s organizer and professor of theatre arts at CSUN. “And to celebrate our multicultural society in remembrance of the historical event of [the] LA Riots that, for better or worse, has shaped all of us.”

The 20th anniversary of the riots that ensued following the Rodney King trial is this month. Kim and his friend of 18 years, Lillian Lehman came up with the idea to celebrate diversity in observance of the riots.

“I am particularly excited about sharing these rich multicultural artists with students, staff, and faculty at CSUN and the community patrons,” Kim added.

Members CSUN’s award winning Jazz ensemble will be playing alongside acclaimed jazz pianist, Laurence Hobgood.  They will be accompanied by John Daversa, a music professor at CSUN and noted trumpeter, who will also play his own set at the show.

“Being able to play with a pro is really cool,” said Stephen Spencer, senior jazz major and saxophone player for the ensemble.  “And the venue is pretty fancy.  You don’t get to play that kind of venue that often.”

The band has performed at major venues, including the Reno and Monterey Jazz festivals, as well as touring overseas.  They will be playing the modern jazz music by Hobgood at One World.

The show will take place on Earth Day at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch, a sprawling resort tucked into the desert hills of Simi Valley.  Hummingbird’s Eco-friendly practices, and natural hilltop landscape make the ranch a perfect venue green-conscious music lovers.

The outdoor concert will be presented by Blue Dot Mission, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing multiculturalism to the Los Angeles area.  Tickets are $15 at the door for students with I.D. and $30 for non-students.  Buy tickets beforehand at  Hummingbird’s website and save $5.

“It’s more than just music,” said Jacob Scesney, freshman jazz major and alto saxophone player.  “It’s incorporating all forms of art.  So, I’m pretty excited to see that.”

The festival will also be host to an art exhibit and charity auction featuring the paintings of Gary Becker, Donna Mouliot, and others.  Proceeds from the auction will raise funds for Blue Dot Mission and the Jason Becker Trust.

Jason Becker was a heavy-metal guitar phenom in the 1980s until he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  The trust supports treatment of his disease.