Emmanuel: Year of the Gentleman

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” Excuse me miss, would you like to dance?” It means a lot to me when a beautiful girl accepts to dance with me a slow song. It’s also hard nowadays to find a really good DJ, because every DJ that my school, or a party that I go to, gets only plays Dub-step! It’s starting to get annoying, no offense to those who like it. Maybe later on I can upload a recording of my amateur DJ skills with songs that you can actually dance to; I know, shocker, music you can dance to. Yes, I do DJ a little bit when I have time aside from my busy schedule called my life. As I was saying, a slow dance with a girl is one of those things that you can’t buy, you have to earn it. Whether it be with your girlfriend, a date, or even just a friend. You earn it by asking her to dance with you, it would be your pleasure to invite her to dance to a very special song you have been saving for her only. In doing so I believe that it would make her feel exceptional, as men that’s what we intend to make our lady feel like. Prom is just right around the corner, so it’s time o start asking friends or girlfriends to the most important dance of the year. I was already ready to go since three months ago, because I asked a friend to prom at another party during a slow dance. I thought it was romantic, except for the part of not having flowers to give her. I don’t know why but, if I want to ask a girl to a big dance I feel that it’s crucial to have flowers, or else there is a higher chance they will say no, for lack of a sign of “affection” toward them. I want my girl to feel that I went out of my way to do something very unique just for her.


A Side of O.J. (Operation Jazz)

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OJ flier

Thanks to my good friend Beverly, an ASB media tech., she helped me create a flier for my Jazz group, Operation Jazz; and if I may add, she did an amazing  job. The logo design was my own creation which Beverly brought to life with the vibrant colors and word font. We both agreed that it would be a great idea to include either a full group picture of the band or a group of individual pictures of the members at the bottom of the flier. The group is currently in practicing a new song titled Chicago by Buddy Rich. It’s a hard piece, but what’s music without a challenge. After all my old trumpet teacher once told me, “If playing an instrument was easy, everyone would do it”. Plus people don’t enjoy the easy stuff as much as the harder things that others do in life because they aren’t afraid of the challenge or risks they encounter, the only person holding someone back from fulfilling their dream is them self.

Let me go back in time for a minute to tell you the origin of Operation Jazz. “It was a bright cold day in April…”, (quote from 1984) no I’m kidding. The idea of forming a Jazz band occurred to me back in October of 2013 when my English class was assigned an innovation project that would benefit the community. The was no average volunteer, pick up trash, recycle kind of project. This was something else. My teacher, Mr. Theriault, showed us examples of how to be creative with this “Idea Farming” project; that is the name of our class step by step process that we made as we went along with out grand projects. When I began thinking about what I wanted to do, I knew it had to be music based; music is my life. When I first pitched the idea to my classmates about playing music for the public, jazz specifically, they doubted that I could pull it off and find people who would be willing to join in on my project. Hearing their comments made me want to kill the idea altogether, but I knew in my mind that I had to “stick to my guns”.

After a day or two I had time to plan out what I imagined going forward with my idea would be like. I took into account the instrumentalists I would need, spreading the word through social networking, and gigs and practices. The group that would consist of the best musicians I knew from school that would unite to form the exclusive group.

Execute Operation Jazz

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Tomorrow performing for you live in the Fountain Valley High School bowl, from your own neighborhood band room Operation Jazz! They will be performing during lunch, so grab your food and head over to the bowl to hear a little bit of the old and the new of Jazz. These talented musicians are bringing Jazz back to the community simply for the love of the music. As the saying goes, “music continues and never ends”, there’s always a new interpretation of style making it “new”(relating back to these cool videos I saw a while back on how everything is a remix, giving the implication of it being new). In case you don’t know I’m the trumpet player. We will be playing Careless Whisper made famous by Wham!, Moondance made famous by Van Morrison, and In the Mood made famous by Dave Brubeck Quartet. On the “drawing board” we have in process Portuguese Love by Maynard Ferguson, Take Five by Dave Brubeck Quartet, and possibly Night in Tunisia by Duke Ellington. I would also really like to start playing  The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra. I also really like this poster, it’s when I first saw it I thought it was the coolest thing in the world to see myself in an actual photo with my band. That’s swag right there people!  Looks like my innovation project to bring Jazz back to the public is Swinging! Haha!

I’ve been thinking, what if we had, on a Friday in the evening after school say 7-8, a Jazz Lounge performance. Not a cheesy cute little show, I’m talking school hosted event in the amphitheater. We could set up all the equipment: stands, amps, drum set, key board, and have a legitimate Jazz night.  We could set a date in the future to promote this gig with fliers around the school, as well I was also wondering if the theater could: Put up a backdrop with a scenery behind us, or just a plain black would do, and maybe sell snacks and drinks to those that show up while they watched our performance. We could play for about an hour free of charge. I just hope that people show up if we do go through with it.

“Let me show you what I can do”

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This last week of mid January I found out about this trumpeter named Christian Scott who won the 2013 Jazz Award in New Orleans. So immediately I went to YouTube to hear how great this guy plays; knowing me right? It turns out that he is, as I assumed, a great player and he even has his own line of new trumpets going! Dang! He has this one called a Siren trumpet, after that he has the Sirenette trumpet, then he even created a reverse flugelhorn of his own! This guy has it all! He’s an awesome player in a jazz band who has his own company of trumpets and he won a big jazz award. I applaud this man.  I too hope that someday I can be a lead trumpet player for a popular jazz band, get gigs at clubs, dives, and cafes. After the show go out with some friends all dressed up in my suit and tie to have a night on the town. That’s my idea of living the dream. But, just like Christian I need to practice a lot, a lot, if I want my name to be recognized in the jazz and trumpet world. Like my dad says, “Right now Emmanuel, since you’re young, and just beginning your life in the real world, you have all the doors open. It’s up to you to apply yourself to school and music to walk up to those doors saying, ‘let me show you what I can do'”.

A New Beginning

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As 2013 comes to an end and we welcome the new year, I too will embrace this new “beginning” as a fresh start. What I mean is that I can get my mind straight to focus and perform better, in a different way, when I am in school or in my music studies. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more, whether it be the newspaper, a magazine of Popular Science, or a book. Also because I constantly assign myself long term goals throughout the year I don’t really acknowledge a New Year’s resolution; because I do it so often. “The music never stops”, and “The song remains the same”. This reminds me of when Mr. Therialt, my AP English teacher, showed us in class some videos of how everything is a remix of something already invented; just modified to look, sound, and feel different. In the videos they showed Led Zeppelin, movie directors, and authors make they works based off the ideas of previous works. However, in my world I like to call it, Jazz. (You guessed it, right?) The reason is that when I improvise, while the rhythm section is going with the flow, it’s all about melody. I take scales, songs, and random styles, mix them together with the way I’m feeling to get a bunch of little remixes that I made up right on the spot. “Hero’s get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart, and you will never go wrong”.


One Last Time

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As most of you have heard in the morning announcements, the FVRR has performed its 2013 Christmas parade at Disneyland. It was a success, of course, unfortunately since I am a senior this is the last time I will ever march with those blue uniforms on and off the field. Marching band has been a huge part in my life in high school and it has transformed me into the man I am today. I have shared so many great memories with the friends I made while in band that are worth a life time. I wish I could stay in the Regiment for many more years, that’s how much I love it and the people who run it. Marching band is just a whole-nother world where time, dedication, hard work, talent, music, and exercise come together to give birth to greatness with a united determined group. The only thing I regret, is not joining band Freshman year. Thank you Mr. Wampler. Just like Mr. Wampler, Mr. Therialt gives us information that will help us in the future for real life application, not only involving school related topics but social and moral advice. For example: the first dates presentation (was the best), the moral viewpoints behind the stories we read such as Othello and Hamlet. With the whole What if project Mr.Therialt is giving us the opportunity to think outside the box on how to better our community; is there a need for anything? Some philosophers would say “everything happens for a purpose”.


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Last week my cousin showed me this awesome video promo. for this month long concert in Switzerland called Tomorrowland. It occurs once a year towards the end of July. The way that you can go is by getting together a group of 18 friends that each pitch in a thousand dollars for their “ticket to ride”. You get to travel there in an exclusive Tomorrowland plane with other voyagers (have to be 18 or older to go). People come from all over the world to experience this adventure. With the money that the group pitches in they also get all inclusive hotel rooms at the Tomorrowland resort. This is not just a concert, they also have a Tomorrowland plaza to go enjoy other activities. I know that someday I would like to go with my friends to Tomorrowland. In a way it is like Disneyland and Disney’s Tomorrowland considering that it has these condo’s that the people stay in along with a camping sort of feeling to it because you and your friends can make a fire in a pit with the night sky above you. This reminds me of when we read Hamlet how all of soldiers have to stand guard at night patrolling around the castle in case of any invaders or attacks, especially if Poland and Norway want to really start a war for bits of land that they will risk many lives for. So at night when they are relieved of their duty they can go relax and hang out with their friends.