With practice nearly every morning, regularly competing in and out of California and performing at local venues, hard work is something familiar to the members of Jazzanova.
The jazz group is a yearlong commitment in both the fall and spring semesters as Contra Costa College music students are in the Humanities Building every morning practicing their vocal range.
Daniel Ruiz, music major, said music department Chairperson Stephanie Austin is a tough coach who works to polish the group’s singing skills.
“She knows what she’s doing,” Ruiz said. “There is a level of intensity. She has her way of bringing out the sound in us.”
The musical group and its students represent the core of the music department.
The ensemble involves a high skill set of singing developed through practice and devotion. Austin created the group in the fall 2007 semester and said the group is designed to prepare music majors for a professional performance.
On Monday, the group will perform at Jazz Vocal Night, a concert dedicated specifically to the genre of jazz music.
Members said CCC students can expect to see the college jazz groups perform different songs and see the talent of the CCC music students.
Selena Ruiz, Daniel’s sister and Jazzanova member, said although the college may not have the best reputation to outsiders, the Jazz Vocal Night is an opportunity for students from different backgrounds to come together and represent the college and the music department in a positive light.
The group regularly participates in competitions and was a national finalist two years in a row at the Monterey Jazz Festival. On April 28-29 it will be competing at the Reno Jazz Festival.
Group member Selena Rios said because Jazzanova is a small group, it affects the quintet during competitions against other ensembles. She said at competitions it is the group of five against larger ensembles, sometimes consisting of 18 members. She said as a result there is a noticeable difference in sound when the groups are singing.
Despite this, Jazzanova has improved and it will be going in as the underdog at competitions, Daniel Ruiz said.
Jazzanova currently consists of five members: Selena Rios, Lucia Perez, Stephanie Rios, Daniel Ruiz and Daniel Hernandez.
Austin said because of their heavy schedule and serious dedication each of the members has to Jazzanova, they work as hard as any other students on campus.