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The Fresno City College City Jazz Festival

26th Anniversary Edition!

You can now purchase your tickets to the City Jazz Festival here!

Schedule of Performances

Director Information

Thursday March,31 2016

 city jazz 
Since its inception in 1991, the City Jazz Festival has grown to an event hosting dozens of student jazz groups from throughout California, performing in three different venues at Fresno City College. The emphasis has always been on education. A panel of jazz educators critiques the students’ performances, and they attend a variety of workshops presented by some of the greatest professional jazz performers in the country. Scholarships to the Berklee College of Music, FCC, and many summer music camps are awarded to outstanding student performers. The event culminates with a performance by the featured guest artist, accompanied by the FCC Jazz Ensemble. Here are a few facts and figures based on the 20 year history of the festival: 

  • Over 850 student jazz groups have participated
  • Over $100,000 in scholarships have been awarded
  • Featured guest artists have included a who’s who of jazz:
    • Saxophonists Eric Marienthal, Tom Scott, Bob Mintzer, Ernie Watts, and Bob Sheppard
    • Trumpeters Wayne Bergeron, Bobby Shew, Ingrid Jensen, and Gilbert Castellanos
    • Guitarists Anthony Wilson and Mark Whitfield
    • Drummers Jeff Hamilton and Steve Houghton
    • Trombonists Conrad Herwig and Andy Martin
    • Vocalists Tierney Sutton, Kevin Mahogany, Kristin Korb, and Sunny Wilkinson
    • Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge


City Jazz 2016

This year’s festival will include performances and workshops by saxophonist Eric Marienthal. Highlights of City Jazz 2016 include:

    • Thursday, March 31: Student performances from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, March 31: Jazz workshops with Rebeca Mauleón (morning and afternoon, times TBA)
    • Thursday, March 31: Rebeca Mauleón, FCC Jazz Ensemble, Latin Jazz EnsembleFestival All-Stars Concert (FCC Theatre, 7:30 p.m.)

Jazz at FCC

City Jazz is part of a strong jazz studies program offered at Fresno City College, directed by festival founder and jazz ensemble director Mike Dana. FCC’s jazz program is the most diverse in central California, and has earned a national reputation. Performance groups include the Jazz Ensemble, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Combos. Courses in jazz improvisation, theory, history, and arranging are also offered. Jazz faculty members include Mike Dana, Larry Honda, George Ramirez, Julie Dana, Nye Morton, and Dale Engstrom. In addition to the festival, the jazz program at FCC has brought many other performers to perform at work with students. These include The Langston Hughes Project, guitarists Nguyen Le, Frank Gambale, and John Stowell, and most recently the Grammy-nominated University of North Texas 1:00 Lab Band.

Featuring Guest Artist Rebeca Mauleón


Rebeca Mauleón is an internationally acclaimed musician, bandleader, composer, Grammy-nominated producer and educator as well as author and reviewer. As a pianist, Mauleón follows a long-standing tradition of Afro-Cuban and Latin Jazz performers, and her expertise in Afro-Caribbean and Latin American music places her at the forefront of the musicological community, resulting in a multidimensional career spanning over three decades. From her recording and performing work with an array of Grammy-winning legends including Tito Puente, Carlos Santana, Steve Winwood, Joe Henderson and Mickey Hart, to her diverse compositional projects (ranging from symphonic works and Afro-Cuban jazz to music for film, television and computer software companies), and her critically-acclaimed recordings, books and articles, Mauleón has carved a distinct niche as one of the most multi-faceted artists on the world music scene.

She is the author of the critically acclaimed Salsa Guidebook and 101 Montunos, and is also musicological consultant and author to National Geographic, Time Life and other important institutions. Mauleón is also a freelance writer for mainstream music magazines including Keyboard, Bass Player, Mix Magazine and others. Rebeca’s compositional awards include Meet The Composer’s prestigious New Residencies Award, the Sundance Composers’ Fellowship, and a commission by the Oakland East Bay Symphony. In 2008 she was honored by the San Francisco Jazz Festival with its Beacon Award for artistic excellence and dedication to the community. In 2009 Rebeca received a Latin Grammy Nomination for her production of Orestes Vilató’s “It’s About Time.” She is a tenured professor of Latin American music, composition and Latin Jazz piano, as well as an internationally sought-after as a lecturer and clinician on the subject of Latin American and Afro-Caribbean music history and performance. In 2011 Mauleón was appointed Director of Education at SFJAZZ.

As a Grammy-nominated producer, Mauleón’s solo releases Round Trip, Latin Fire and Descarga en California have garnered international critical acclaim, earning top-ten status on the Latin Beat Hit Parade for seven consecutive months, including number one. Her 2006 release - Descarga en California - features some of Latin music's legendary figures, including Armando Peraza, Orestes Vilató and Giovanni Hidalgo, and explodes with the passion and energy of the classic Cuban descarga. As the leader of her own ensemble, Rebeca has appeared at numerous renowned music festivals, including the Kennedy Center’s “Women in Jazz” festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival and San Francisco and San José Jazz Festivals. In 2001 she was the recipient of the prestigious Meet The Composer New Residencies Award, for a three-year residency at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and in 2008 Rebeca was the recipient of the SF Jazz Festival Beacon Award. As a composer Rebeca has written works for diverse clients (Electronic Arts, MSNBC, etc.) in addition to her own performing ensembles.

Rebeca is also much in-demand as a teacher and clinician throughout the U.S. and Europe, specializing in Latin music performance and history, combining hands-on master classes with high- energy performances by her ensemble. She is the author of several texts on Latin music technique, including the highly acclaimed Salsa Guidebook (© Sher Music, 1993), the Latin Real Book (© Sher Music, 1997), 101 Montunos (© Sher Music, 1999) and Muy Caliente (© Sher Music, 2000). She is a regular contributor to several top industry magazines, including JazzTimes, Keyboard, Grammy Gateway, Modern Drummer, Mix en Español and Bass Player, and serves as musicological consultant and writer for National Geographic. Rebeca is a tenured professor of Latin American/Afro-Caribbean Music, Jazz/Latin piano and Composition at City College of San Francisco, a guest lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and Mills College, and is Director of Education at SFJAZZ.




Contact Information:
Mike Dana -
Fresno City College Music Department
1101 E. University Ave.
Fresno, CA. 93741
559.442.4600 x.8463

Last updated: 3/29/2016 2:37:04 PM