By LAUR QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer– Mid-August Moe’s Music announced auditions for a new jazz band. The call was answered and the band is in rehearsals in anticipation of performing by the end of the year. The band rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 6 until 8pm while the store is open. This means you can browse and shop and listen as they work together to perfect their wide variety of jazz repertoire – from jazz standards to jazz rock.
Moe’s Music co-owner, Ashley Jones, and tenor sax player, Devin Katzenstein, had been talking about starting a jazz band and expanded the conversation to Tommy Morehead. Morehead tells us, “It kind of just sprouted from there.”
Burroughs High Graduate Morehead is known for playing in Mercury Transfer, a Ridgecrest-based alternative rock band where he plays drums. In the jazz band, he plays alto sax. He says, “The first instrument I learned formally was saxophone when I started middle school at Murray. I had already known that I liked music; so I enrolled. My teacher was Mr. Locher and I just took straight to it. I haven’t stopped playing since. That’s what got me to continue playing music through high school and even college.” Morehead’s from a military family so he left Ridgecrest and continued music in school, ultimately returning for his senior year where he met Katzenstein. “I played in the concert band and in the marching band, where Simon Austin was conducting,” he remembers. “I had a blast.
“I think a lot of a lot of the musicians here are in the same boat; we all played when we were all in school and we loved it so much. I think a lot of us felt the same way.” This is an opportunity for them to get back to reading charts, playing under a conductor, enjoying the creative process and sharing it with listeners hungry for quality music.
Jordan Covert was selected to wave the baton as conductor. Morehead, Katzenstein and Jones agreed that the band needed a conductor. Jones isn’t a musician and Morehead and Katzenstein only want to play their instruments. Morehead says, “We talked about all the people that had shown up and were showing interest and we were talking about who would be the conductor. All of us unanimously agreed that Jordan seems like the best person. He wants to do it, he’s enthusiastic, he loves music. He was more than happy to take on that role. And he’s been doing a great job.
“We’re still looking for people to join. Mostly horn players, brass and woodwind players would be great.” New musicians will be joining a jazz band that has a bass player who also plays flute, two saxophone players, a trombone, a trumpet, keyboards, drums and a vocalist. Interested folks can reach out to Moe’s Music at 207 West Ridgecrest Boulevard, 760-463-1197. Their hours are Wednesday – Friday, 3pm – 7pm. And Saturdays 10am- 7pm.
The band chose the name “Blue Creosote. It is the one name that everyone loved when we heard it.”
Moe’s Music continues to be a steady force in supporting musicians and music in Ridgecrest. This combination of music store and venue has been invaluable in getting this band off the ground and giving other individuals and bands a place to share their music. Jones was surprised that these young musicians were not very active on social media, so she undertook that role. Morehead says, “Moe’s has been instrumental, no pun intended, to this whole thing. This is the place where we play. Ashley has been awesome in organizing everything and putting out the announcements. She’s been helping us get all of our sheet music and all of that stuff. She’s been a huge part of us. A huge shout out to Moe’s for hosting this whole thing. This is our headquarters.”