The east entrance to the Mesa Community College library at the Southern and Dobson campus on Nov. 13, 2020. (Photo by Monica Spencer)

Mesa Community College to host food drive and concert in association with United Food Bank

The Mesa Community College Fusion Jazz Band and United Food Bank collaborated for an event at the MCC Performing Arts Center on Nov. 20 to collect non-perishable food items to benefit those in need. 

The event takes place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and looks to put on a show from students and faculty, while also bringing in a food drive to feed the hungry before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The concert has been a yearly tradition at MCC and is now returning after taking a hiatus due to the coronavirus.

“This was before COVID, we did a few years before that. Bringing in other groups and having other groups play, sometimes only faculty would play, and then COVID happened and we took a few years off from it and this is the first year we’ve had it back since then,” said Paul Brewer, director of jazz studies at MCC.

According to Brewer, the student show, along with the tribute group performance, is an accumulation of many talents in the local area such as faculty at MCC, faculty from other Maricopa County Community College District schools, and professional musicians. 

Upon entering the Performing Arts Center, representatives of United Food Bank will be located in the lobby to accept non-perishable food items as the price of admission. 

Brewer acknowledged how easy it was to get United Food Bank involved and thanked the MCC bass instructor Michael King for developing a close relationship with the organization.

King is a bass player for a band known as the “Brecker Brothers Project” which will perform alongside the students on Nov. 20. 

“You’re going to hear one of our student groups here at the school, a couple of our student groups here at the school and they’re going to play some of it, and we have hired a band called the Brecker Brothers Project which is a tribute show for another famous fusion group called the Brecker Brothers who were famous during the 70s,” said Brewer.

Brewer describes the event as one of his annual favorites, as he states this concert is always built in the event calendar for the Performing Arts Center.

For Brewer, the concert provided an opportunity to experience the genre of Jazz music, which he believes will be the first for many audiences.

“It really is an amazing music that, if you haven’t witnessed it before it’s quite an auditory ride and I think people should go ahead and give it a chance and listen to it, and of course the few people out there who are actually fans of fusion and follow it around at listen to maybe the current fusion groups out there today, go ahead and come out and check out our students playing it,” said Brewer.

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