The College of Liberal and Creative Arts kicks off spring semester with jazz and tacos, honors late professor
“Jazz & Tacos,” the first event of the new LCA Live performance series, also served as a tribute to late lecturer of music Andrew Speight.
February 2, 2023
Jazz and tacos might seem like an unexpected duo, but they are about to become a regular part of the Creative Arts building culture.
On Wednesday afternoon, LCA Live kicked off the semester with a “Jazz & Tacos” event featuring a performance from Steven Lugerner’s SLUGish Ensemble and tacos from Taqueria Girasol at the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
According to organizer Aaron Benn, LCA Live is a brand new multidisciplinary series that will feature spoken word, dance, music and theater performances. “Jazz & Tacos” marks the very first event for the series.
“Each ‘Jazz & Tacos’ will feature a different ensemble,” Benn said. “Some will be alums, or students, or different jazz musicians in the Bay.”
Roughly 40 attendees sat at round tables scattered throughout room 153 of Creative Arts as they watched the SLUGish Ensemble in silent reverence. Between songs and after solos, the otherwise quiet crowd offered appreciative applause. The room was adorned with pink lights and the stage highlighted by a neon sign, which aptly read “Jazz & Tacos.”
Saxophonist Steven Lugerner was surprised by the focused nature of the audience.
“Playing here was really refreshing,” Lugerner said. “I was just kind of shocked by how attentive everybody was. I never know what to expect.”
When people did move around the room though, they were most likely on their way to get some tacos. Several attendees got up during the performance and made their way over to the taco table positioned at the side of the room.
The live performance also served as a tribute to Lecturer of Music Andrew Speight who passed away last December. The SLUGish Ensemble dedicated a composition titled “Summer Night” to Speight, with Lugerner citing him as a mentor.
Interim Dean of the College of Liberal & Creative Arts Sophie Clavier spoke about Speight’s impact on those he interacted with.
“What I heard from students and colleagues is about an amazing person,” Clavier told the crowd. “He sparked joy with his music, he impacted his students, he was an amazing musician.”
Although the audience mostly sat in silence during the performance, their appreciation of the music was apparent nonetheless.
“It was high-caliber musicians playing their hearts out for a really stoked crowd,” attendee Abraham Finkelstein said. “Oftentimes, I’ll just be walking through the hall here and I’ll hear something through an open door and I’ll pop in and it’ll be a really great performance.”
“Jazz & Tacos” will take place on the first Wednesday of every month. The event is free to attend for students and faculty.