The Edmonds Community College Jazz and Salsa Band will perform its final fundraising concert on Nov. 22 before traveling to Puerto Rico.
“Combining our fundraising efforts in the spring with a recent generous grant from the Associated Students of Edmonds CC, we have raised over $20,000 to this point,” said John Sanders, the band’s director. The group’s goal is to raise $30,000 for the 17 students traveling in January.
The Puerto Rico trip is a kind of homecoming. Sanders was inspired to start the group after his own visit to Puerto Rico in 2014.
The band will kick off its journey by attending the San Sebastian Street Festival, one of the largest music festivals in the area. “By the end of our two days at the festival, the students, chaperones and I will be dancing and moving to the rhythms of Puerto Rico and ready for the next five days of travel and learning,” said Sanders.
The students will go on to take a plena class at the Instituo Rafael Cepeda and a bomba class in Piñones, the home of bomba. Sanders will also have the opportunity to introduce his students to Ramon Sanchez, an esteemed salsa arranger that Sanders worked with during his sabbatical. The band will learn from Sanchez and play with his band at Inter American University.
The band’s past travels abroad have left lasting impacts on its members. “I’ve had many students say that our trip to Havana in 2017 was one of the best experiences of their lives,” said Sanders. “We are so grateful to all who donated and for the support of the Associated Students, administration, and faculty for that opportunity.”
You can help the Edmonds CC Jazz and Salsa Band get to Puerto Rico by donating online through the Edmonds CC Foundation or attending the band’s Salsa Night at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, in the college’s Black Box Theatre. The band will play a variety of salsa styles, from the cha-cha to the mambo. Tickets are $12, and all proceeds will go toward the Puerto Rico trip. Donation envelopes will be also be available.
For a campus map and directions, go to edcc.edu/campus.