Cuyamaca’s Winter Wonder Jam spotlights local talent

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Cuyamaca College’s Music Industry Studies placed the spotlight on local talent reminiscent of other music festivals but without the hijinks, or burning effigies of some of the other festivals—its mid-term Winter Wonder Jam.  

Held Dec. 12 on the campus of Cuyamaca College, the production was part of the final exam for students enrolled in the Music Industry Studies class said Department Chair Taylor Smith, who introduced the evening’s artists.

Cuyamaca College’s Music Industry Studies placed the spotlight on local talent reminiscent of other music festivals but without the hijinks, or burning effigies of some of the other festivals—its mid-term Winter Wonder Jam.  

Held Dec. 12 on the campus of Cuyamaca College, the production was part of the final exam for students enrolled in the Music Industry Studies class said Department Chair Taylor Smith, who introduced the evening’s artists.

While relatively young and unknown as an event the college offers residents a chance to see what the students have learned by going thru the process of auditioning local bands and doing various aspects of the music industry involved in the promotion of talent.

That talent, a total of four musicians or groups were selected, included Mockingbird, Feelgood, Barrie Dempsey, and Little Heroine.

Tara Alvarado and her Big D (Diego) or husband and Little D (son) are the family pop threesome of Mockingbird. Tara’s sultry voice and presence works well with her renditions of the light and dark side of its love songs. She plays a snare drum while waxing philosophical about life via the songs they wrote.

These were not cover band artists but ones who write their own lyrics and music and deliver their own vocal styles using vocal tics, nuances and musical interpretation.

The indie rock group Feelgood brought to the stage a Seattle-music-scene vibe. The rock group Little Heroine reintroduced 2014 style rock with electric guitar riffs and rock star stances. Opening the night's show was folk singer Barrie Dempsey. Each has a Facebook page to peruse.

Watching and listening to this concert allowed an attendee to witness the phenomena of seeing if a lead singer can pull a band out of obscurity to a higher audience. Or to listen to lyrics that might hit a chord with many listeners in the future. But also to just enjoy local talent and creating a music culture or sound that is indigenous and nurturing to this region.

Each production from this program, gives the community the opportunity to see local talent in one setting. It also provides the students the chance to see how the music industry works—chord by chord.

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