Famed Musician Visits Ensemble

Joelle Nelson and Genie Lee

Accomplished jazz trombonist Steve Turre, an Acalanes and Stanley alumnus, shared his experience as a musician with the Jazz Ensemble class on January 24.

The class was so excited to talk to him that they were counting down the days to his arrival 3 weeks prior, said sophomore Alex Mangoba.

“It really was a special treat for our students to get to meet him, hear his story, receive feedback on their play, and then to actually get to play with him,” said Vice Principal Jonathon Drury.

Steve Turre has been a musician for 53 years and is considered one of the most prolific jazz players of all time. He has played with the Saturday Night Live Band since 1985 and has released several albums, the most recent last year. He grew up in Lafayette and began playing the trombone at the age of 10.

Turre helped various students with their technique during the class. “I though it was really interesting to see someone with experience and wisdom. You could definitely tell he was influenced by the type of music that he showed us and told us about, like he did show us some techniques to the trombonists in the band,” said Mangoba.

Junior Daniel Warner said, “Having him give his insights to us was pretty cool, because normally we are just exposed to a lot of teachers and not so many musicians that play music professionally.”

“At first I didn’t know who he was. I was told actually when I was in my Jazz Ensemble class,” said Mangoba. “I looked him up and got to check out some of the songs he made, so I got to listen to some, and I was quite impressed.”

Turre answered student questions about his life as a musician. Mangoba asked what it would take to achieve similar success. “And he just said to stick with it and do what you love even if it is music, which it was for him,” she said.

Warner said, “I related to him when he said that he liked music and just played it a lot, not because he wanted attention or anything like that but because he really liked music which is why he played it.”

Mangoba said, “It does seem like a risky path to go down into, but maybe one day it’ll definitely be something that I’m going to stick with my entire life and something that will influence me.”