Local music lovers better look out – Ben Wade and Susanville Symphony Society are bringing a whole new musical form — jazz fusion — to Susanville at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Susanville Elks Lodge.
Jazz fusion — sometimes called jazz rock — features modern jazz improvisation accompanied by bass lines, drumming styles and the instrumentation of rock music, with a strong emphasis on electronic instruments and dance rhythms, according to Britannica.
Of course, some traditional jazz lovers take exception to jazz fusion, but the truth is talented musicians have blended the two ever-popular musical genres — jazz and rock — together for many decades, at least since the 1960s if not before — artists as varied at Steely Dan, George Benson, Spyro Gyra, Chick Corea, Jeff Beck, Stanley Clark, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and, of course, America’s tireless jazz innovator Miles Davis.
Many rock fans will point to Roger McGuinn’s daring and psychedelic 12-string solo on the 1966 Byrds’ hit “Eight Miles High” (influenced simultaneously by both Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane, believe it or not) as one of the first jazz/rock songs to break through on the AM Top-40 airwaves.
“This is a first of its kind for the Susanville Symphony, which is branching out on all eras of jazz,” Wade said. “We are excited to bring Rafael Feliciano, a major player in the jazz world. Rafael, who was born in Puerto Rico but resides in Los Angeles, is a professional drummer. He has played with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, and he will be bringing his Latin flair to Susanville.”
Rafael said, “The audience is gonna love it, baby. If they ain’t movin, they’re dead!”
According to Wade, The Jazz Band will be playing songs such as Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island,” Miles Davis’ “So What,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca,” Victor Lopez’s “Sabor de Cuba” and more great jazz standards.
“I wanted to dip into the genres of cool jazz, bee bop, jazz, funk and more,” Wade said.
Wade said tickets are on sale at Margie’s Book Nook, Axia Home Loans and a very few might be available at the door.
“Come and get them while they’re hot!” Wade said.