The Sacramento State Latin Jazz Ensemble was founded in 2001 by Steve Roach, and is now led by director Carlos McCoy. Since its inception the ensemble has released three CD recordings: Con Sentimiento (2002), Pasando el Tiempo (2005), and Havana (2008). In addition to performances for Sacramento State campus concerts and private and corporate functions, the ensemble has been called upon regularly to play for a wide variety of events such as the annual Sacramento Jazz Festival, the California State Fair, the Latin American Heritage Festival, the Music in the Mountains concert series, the Vallejo Jazz Festival, and the Hutchins Street Square concert series. The ensemble has also performed in such prestigious venues as the Mondavi Center in Davis and the Golden State Museum in downtown Sacramento. In 2009, the Latin Jazz Ensemble was awarded a DownBeat Student Music Award in the Latin Jazz Category for tracks submitted off the Havana CD. Prominent guest artists who have appeared with the Sacramento State Latin Jazz Ensemble include Mark Levine, Harold Muniz, John Santos, Wayne Wallace, and Jamie Dubberly.
This exciting ensemble plays a wide range of Latin musical styles, including merengue, cha-cha-cha, mambo, Afro-Cuban, and rumba. The band plays original compositions and arrangements as well as Latin Jazz standards by Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Mario Bauza, Mongo Santamaria, Mark Levine, Oscar Hernandez, Michael Philip Mossman, Poncho Sanchez, and others.
The Ensemble varies in its instrumentation based upon the needs and demands of the selected repertoire.
Music majors, non-music majors and students enrolled through the College of Extended Studies may participate in the Sac State Latin Jazz Ensemble.
Placement in the Latin Jazz Ensemble is by audition only.
Auditions for all jazz performing groups at Sacramento State will be held during the first day of class of each semester. The results from the audition are usually posted the following day. Sign-up sheets are posted on the Jazz Studies Bulletin Board (located outside the Music Recital Hall - across from M151) prior to the first week of classes.