Profile in Music: Prof. David Rentz and the History of Jazz

Professor David Rentz conducts the Chaffey College Choir. Photo by Sabino Villanueva.

Professor David Rentz conducts the Chaffey College Choir. Photo by Sabino Villanueva.

Jazz is the national pastime of the United States.
— Jean-Paul Sartre

David Rentz is associated Professor of Music at Chaffey College for the last two years, where he is director of the choirs. Rentz teaches music theory and he organize music programs presentations in different colleges. Professor Rentz is a music lover, his entire life is dedicated to the research and divulge music, he teaches and plays almost all musical instruments, although his greatness passion is the orchestra conduction. Professor Rentz of fine and skinny physical complexity, dark and large eyes, shorter than average at 5’01’’, black hair well groomed, small ears, cheeks high bones, and skinny nose and straight.

Like any other music divulger Professor Rentz is a busy man with a heavy agenda. Usually in the Summer, Professor Rentz’s custom is to travel to other foreign countries to teaches orchestra direction, last year he traveled to Beijing China. He had the honorability to conceded a couple of interviews outside of the music faculty and these are his reactions, “Well, no always I follow rules but I try to teach in a confident environment and sometimes I like to be strict specially in the choir and cincerts presentation,” he said.


Chaffey College Music Building. Photo by Sabino Villanueva.

Chaffey College Music Building. Photo by Sabino Villanueva.

The Story of Jazz

The story and origin of the Jazz is clouded of controversy that remains in nowadays. In the history of the music the question of race is presented remarkable and central of this dispute. In an ironic and incongruous the fact that an ensemble consisting of white musicians were the Jazz initiators. Instead, distinctly to African American as a truly contributors to the creation of jazz.

“I think that jazz is almost similar to classical, jazz fundamental roots are on the Southern States of the country especially in New Orleans and Black Americans were the pioneers,” Professor Rentz said. “For instance, classical music is more specialized and require more preparation than jazz music that is a mixture of so many styles; blues, gospel, spiritual, rag.”

Professor David Rentz. Photo by Sabino Villanueva.

Professor David Rentz. Photo by Sabino Villanueva.

The evolution and instrumentation in jazz music went hand and hand with changes in the musical of jazz perspectives. Every time bands or ensembles was gaining notoriety and move into the syncopated or musicians’ improvisation. Mark Camillo, music student at Chaffey College for the last two years, “I’m 21 years old, and I playing classical guitar for nine years, jazz has its roots in African American musicians, at the beginning they started with rag-time sound and blues then, the band play the rhythms and some musicians make some improvisations creating new songs,” Camillo said.


How Jazz travelled to Europe

The new style of music is exported overseas in a maiden voyage. The Original Dixieland Band its recording and encompassed jazz, blues, and rag rhythms as well with the introduction of the saxophone that anticipated the texture of the voicings of swing music. In their travel, band musicians were the first global ambassadors of the new hot music. The jazz bands moved from New York to London to play for the Royal Family events then, they journeyed to Paris, where they helped celebration the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Also, this time so many African American musicians were ignored and stay in the United States. Alexander Lavruk is Adjunct Music Faculty an Arts and Humanities Division at San Bernardino Valley College, “I think Jazz music involved all musicians that were knew exploited their talents to created new sound, rhythms and songs and never know race barriers,” Lavruk said.


Three Giants of the Modern Jazz: Armstrong, Ellington, Parker

 Louis Armstrong, by the time Armstrong’s influences was spreaded in the jazz world. He developed a strong and international renown and status with his face and behavior immediately recognizable even to those who paid little attention to jazz. Armstrong’s role as jazz innovator, requires to look his past the superficial trappings of his fame. Through it all Armstrong his prominence as a public figure as a mythic legend. His most famous songs: Hello Dolly, the power of his artistic creativity was further confirmed when almost two decades after his death, What a Wonderful World, became a posthumous Hollywood movie. His name was no mentioned in the film either his image featured. Armstrong’s death in 1971 as the most widely known American of his da, he left behind an enduring and endearing artistic legacy, marked by a world embracing and universality that transcended musical genres and national boundaries.

Duke Ellington, no artist in the jazz history would surpass Ellington in creating a completely satisfying and self-sufficient musical mood. Edward Kennedy Ellington was his real name, born an April 29, 1899. In 1924 Ellington took over as nominal leader of the band “Club Kentucky” during so many years play at the famous only behind of Carnegie Hall, “Colton Club” where his band got a position of the most acclaimed African American Band of its day. In 1930 Ellington made the jump to the big screen Check and Double Check. In 1931 Ellington was invited to meet President Hoover at the White House, a rare honor for a jazz man musician. Most Ellington’s famous songs: Solitude, In a Sentimental Mood, Jeeps Blues, Jack the Bear, Black Brown and Beige. Ellington died on May 24, 1974 of pneumonia, his funeral held three days with over ten thousand people paying their respect in person. Certainly, in the jazz world no later composer has matched the breadth, the depth, the inspiration of Ellington.

   Charlie Parker, born in Kansa City August 29, 1920. Parker learned jazz through recordings, but most of his major influences were linked to his Kansas City environs. Even though, Lester Young played an important role on his jazz formation from him Parker learned note for note with a linear conception of improvisation that indirectly set the foundation for modern jazz. Charlie was an only son product of divorce his mother Addie was the task of rearing the youngster. Parker’s mother purchased a used alto saxophone for $ 45, same that Parker briefly studied music at Lincoln High School. Then, Parker after a public presentation failure, in the saxophone times and rhythm, this was a motive to he practiced with even greater determination. Later close of the summer Parker was hired to play saxophone in Buster Smith Band. After that Parker claimed in a notorious aside that he begun dissipating at twelve, and using heroin at fifteen. Parker droop out Lincoln H.S. By age sixteen Parker was married and working as a professional musician. He took the road not as a part of the band, was a s part of wandering vagabond for Chicago and New York, where he suffered a lot working as a wash-dishes in a restaurant. He soon retreated to Kansas City for his father’s funeral. Here, in this time was that Parker acquired the famous nickname Yard bird, often shorted to Bird. In 1940 Parker recorded art local radio-station Lady Be Good then he including kind of passion on Mean to Me the unadulterated bebop of his later composition Ornithology. However, when Lover Man was release an unfortunate episode in Parker’s career happened. Parker was transferred to the State Hospital at Camarillo located outside of Los Angeles for six, months period. In 1947, he formed his own quintet in the monumental disorder of Parker’s life but the most artistic production. Parker died on March 15, 1955 in New York. Parker was the first, real jazz age hero. His passionate feeling for the blues pervading every note of his playing his toughness and resilience, were expressive of the Afro American ethos that has now become the archetype of the loneliness and alienation of the modern man.


The Jazz Trajectory

Yet the concept of jazz as music of fusion took in particular relevance at the end of the 1960s. Jazz was on the brink of an especially pronounced period of absorption and expansion. Over the next, decades the music’s leading exponents would attempt ambitious fusion with a dizzying array of popular ethnic and classical styles. At times, the resulting hybrids would be so far a, field from the music’s tradition. Jason Weber is playing saxophone since was 15 years old, and he never lamented to do it. Weber’s job is to plays his saxophone in exclusives places, in this case he was playing on the Mountain Vista Winery at Rancho Cucamonga, “I think Armstrong, Duke and Bird were my inspiration when I was younger, those guys were big jazz musicians,” Weber said “Actually, now I have to play with recordings and help me with other contemporary rhythms and electronic tools to spread my show I using hip hop, reggaeton, and salsa to grab people attention.”   

Jason Weber playing the saxophone at the Mountain View Winery. Photo by Sabino Villanueva.

Jason Weber playing the saxophone at the Mountain View Winery. Photo by Sabino Villanueva.


Jazz Now

Only in the few years, visitors to jazz record stores have encountered a novel situation in which most of the music for sale is by artist who are no longer alive. The surviving jazz radio-stations are moving in a similar direction, celebrating the legacy of the past masters and putting fewer and fewer current releases in to rotation. The rise of movements to propagate the jazz repertory, the emergence of generation after generation; even the interest in jazz. The historical studies, which validates the work you hold in your hands: these all symptoms of the same tectonic shift inexorably altering the structure of jazz world. As a, result any new artist attempting to make a reputation in the industry, must compete not just with other young talents but with the entire history of the music.


Survey of Radio-Stations Play Jazz

KSPC 88.7 CLAREMONT 12% youth listen to jazz, KUCR 88.3 RIVERSIDE 8-20% young people listen to jazz, K-JAZZ 88.1 LONG BEACH 10% young people listen to jazz.

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Sabino Villanueva