By Joel Williams
Cuesta music teachers recently headlined a show appearing at the Cuesta Experimental Theatre.
Cuesta jazz instructor Ron McCarley invited Altered, the jazz fusion trio.
“The fusion is between jazz and rock.” McCarley said. “They definitely have some really strong jazz elements as well as hard rock.” McCarley described the music being closest to “Rush” with odd timings and jazz chords.
The show happened on March 24 in the Cultural and Performing Arts Center’s little brother, the Experimental Theatre. Altered is a trio of jazz musicians comprised of Cuesta instructor Jeff Miley on guitar, John Flitcraft on bass, and Steve Holmes on drums.
McCarley joined the group, adding his saxophone skills to the trio for several songs during the middle of the show.
“It combines a lot of things that I’m interested in and have been, but I don’t usually get to, being a saxophone player.” McCarley said.
Earlier that day, the trio hosted a workshop for Cuesta jazz students. The group played a short set and opened the floor for questions and met with the groups to give advice on playing.
Taylor Hatch, a first-year music major at Cuesta, attended the show on the Friday night. Hatch is currently taking a full load of music classes and is learning directly from guitarist Miley in a musicianship class.
“[Miley], the bass player and the drummer all have such great musical drive,” Hatch said. “Especially with jazz fusion, there’s a sense of really strong creativity.”
Hatch said he enjoyed the show and was excited to see two of his own instructors playing on stage.
Future shows at the Experimental Theatre for Cuesta jazz include an April 14 show featuring the Brazilian Choro genre group “Grupo Falso Baiano.”