By Liz Monroy
They did right by Duke Ellington. The audience agreed.
Led by professor of music and ethnic studies David Lopez on saxophone, the Jazz Menagerie on Tuesday kicked off the Santora Series with soulful and funky jazz renditions of genre standards in Downtown Santa Ana.
SAC alumni Ruben Ordiano rocked on drums, his brother Carlos mesmerized on piano and faculty assistant Lorenzo Vasquez grooved on bass at the upstairs atrium of the recently sold Santora Arts Building.
The Fine and Performing Arts division will produce the series of performances.
The music, dance and theater departments collaborated to give the public free performances spread throughout the semester. These will include music concerts, dance performances, improv comedy sketches and script readings.
“The plan is to revitalize the downtown,” said Eve Kikawa, dean of fine and performing arts.
Jack Jakosky, the new owner of the Santora, asked Kikawa to come up with ideas with as he attempts to makeover the historic downtown landmark.
“Eve put the seed in everybody’s head and we just went with it,” Lopez said.