Munyungo Jackson – one of the performers at Clazzical Notes 2006
In 2004, Clazzical Notes debuted at the Fuller Seminary Travis Auditorium in Pasadena, CA. The program concept was the dream of Jerri Price-Gaines, who was the long-time director of Education and Community Engagement at the Pasadena Symphony/POPS. Jerri designed the program to showcase the talents of the Pasadena Symphony musicians. The program name was coined by Dr. Shafeeq Shamsid-Deen, MD.
The early concerts featured some of the best orchestral and classical musicians in Los Angeles along with well-known jazz performers from the Greater Pasadena jazz community.
The Clazzical Notes first guest artist was the multi-talented, Grammy winning Jazz and Classical musician, Billy Childs. Mr. Childs is an awarded musician in jazz and classical music, with recognitions for his jazz ensembles and classical compositions. On that same stage representing classical piano was internationally recognized classical pianist and video game composer Paul Romero. Mr. Romero attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, The Paris Conservatoire, and London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Romero is known for his scores or the Heroes of Might and Magic Video Games. He won the Paris International Piano Competition.
Over the next five years, Clazzical Notes featured other phenomenal performers like jazz singer Sandra Booker, Nedra Wheeler, classical vocalist Susana Guzman and Gerald Clayton, to name a few. The final performance of the the original program ended in 2009 with the outstanding performance of Soprano Angel Blue and Sherry Williams.
In late 2014, Jerri Price Gaines, the original producer of Clazzical Notes, looked through notes and she received from performers and fans of the program and it became a passion to bring back the program with more diverse genres and an expanded program culturally.