Pacific Pop ‘n’ Jazz Band Honors Former Director Mr. O
Now 17 years old, the group is looking to fill vacant positions.
Pacific pop ‘n’ jazz group debuted at the 34th Hollister Street Festival and Auto Show on September 25.
Formerly known as Mr. O’s Jazz Band, the band performed on the steps of the Hollister Veterans Memorial Building on San Benito Street at 2pm.Cerezo Rosa “,” Sentimental Journey “,” Jump, Jive and Wail “and” Pennies from Heaven “to about thirty listeners, as well as passers-by of the festival.
“We’re all very excited to be playing again,” said Wendy Rothwell, who has been playing alto sax with the band since 2016.
The M. O’s Jazz Band ceased performing in March 2020 with the onset of the pandemic. From director Joe Ostenson (M. O) deceased in january, the group met on Zoom to train and create virtual performances. However, the initial group of 10 people had been cut in half.
With new director Steve Sladon, who has performed with the Mr. O’s Jazz Band since their debut, the band began rehearsing on June 22 with just four people.
“We didn’t know if this was going to work,” Rothwell said, adding that many of the members who did not return were young people.
There are now 17 musicians in the group, with a full section of saxophones, two trombones, five trumpets, drums, bass, piano and vocals. Almost half of them, recruited by the original band members, come from Watsonville, Monterey, Salinas, Aptos and Los Banos to play with the band Hollister.
“We have a lot of things we can do, so I think it’s something we’re excited to do,” said Rothwell, referring to the larger size of the group and their experienced musicians. Although the group has grown, they are still looking for two trombonists and a jazz guitarist.
Rothwell, who creates a playlist for the band each week, takes care of the music the band rehearses. “Francie [Ostenson] gave me the music after Joe died, so I felt responsible for them, ”she said. “I’m sort of the manager of the group.
As unofficial manager, Rothwell was also tasked with finding a rehearsal location for the band, as Mr. O’s Music Academy had closed at the end of 2020. The band was fortunate enough to have Hollister United Methodist Church open its venue. social for rehearsals once a week.
“In order to play in church, however, we had to get a waiver signed by everyone,” Rothwell said. “We also had to insure the group.
Rothwell explained that the group had to have a name to be insured.
“We didn’t really feel good calling him ‘Mr. O’s, ”so when it got closer to getting the venue, we talked about different names,” she said.
That’s when the band settled down Pacific pop ‘n’ jazz group.
Still wearing their old shirts from Mr. O’s jazz band at Saturday’s performance in honor of Mr. O, new shirts with the new name are being made.
The Pacific Pop ‘n’ Jazz Band rehearses Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Hollister United Methodist Church. Performances at venues such as My Father’s House Homeless Ministry and Swank Farms are already booked.
“We will still have memories of Joe,” Sladon added. “We will mention it during rehearsals and during performances. We reformed under a new name, but we will never forget how Joe started the band and we have about nine years of experience thanks to Joe.
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