IF YOU GO
What:
San Juan College Jazz Combos concert

When:
7 p.m. Friday

Where:
Henderson Performance Hall at the San Juan College, 4601 College Blvd.

Tickets:
$8 general, $6 students and seniors

For more information:
Call 505-66-3430 or go to www.sanjuancollege.edu/silhouette

Upcoming performances:
Casual Riff will be playing from 7 - 9 p.m. on April 27 at the Coffee House Deli, 5150 College Blvd.
FARMINGTON — For 15 years, San Juan College students have been signing up for jazz combo classes.

Each combo consists of four to five members, including the teacher Keith Cochrane. Combo members also choose the group's name.

This semester's combos Casual Riff and Crepuscule will be performing at 7 p.m. Friday at the college's Henderson Performance Hall.

Small jazz combos started at the end of the Big Band Era in the late 1930s. Big bands, which usually included about 12 to 25 musicians, began to struggle with the costs of maintaining a large group, and smaller combs were easier to afford.

"The musicians in smaller combos discovered a new level of artistic expression," Cochrane said. "They were freed from the tyranny of the printed notation and were allowed greater improvisational latitude."

Often, small combos provided a more creative atmosphere than big bands, Cochrane said.

In the college setting, the combo environment allows students to excercise musical theory skills, Cochrane said. Combo students are graded on three to four performances and have no written final. The performances all take place either on campus or at the Coffee House Deli, 5150 College Blvd.

The first half of Friday's concert will feature Casual Riff. The combo will be playing "Oh Lady Be Good," "Killing Me Softly" and other jazz tunes.

Cochrane said Casual Riff tends to play more standard jazz tunes, while Crepuscule "has a much more edgy approach."

Among the songs Crepuscule will play are "Jourdu," which will feature the band's bass player Matt Gamel, and "Look Backwards," a song written by the combo's trumpet player, Delbert Anderson.

Hannah Grover can be reached at hgrover@daily-times.com; 505-564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover