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Jazz Professor is part of an all-female big band

Ann+Patterson+is+currently+a++jazz+professor+at+El+Camino+College.++When+she%E2%80%99s+not+teaching+or+grading%2C+she+%0Aperforms+at+jazz+festivals+and+shows+with+her+all-female+band+Maiden+Voyage.+Photo+credit%3A+Johnysha+Vercher
Ann Patterson is currently a  jazz professor at El Camino College.  When she’s not teaching or grading, she 
performs at jazz festivals and shows with her all-female band Maiden Voyage. Photo credit: Johnysha Vercher

Ann Patterson is currently a jazz professor at El Camino College. When she’s not teaching or grading, she performs at jazz festivals and shows with her all-female band Maiden Voyage. Photo credit: Johnysha Vercher

Ann Patterson is currently a jazz professor at El Camino College. When she’s not teaching or grading, she performs at jazz festivals and shows with her all-female band Maiden Voyage. Photo credit: Johnysha Vercher

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She walks up to the front of class with a saxophone in hand and begins to demonstrate a song to her students. She begins to play a song, the class is in awe as they are shocked from her talents.

On the weekday she teaches the saxophone and jazz improv at El Camino, but by weekend she’s performing at jazz gigs and festivals.

Ann Patterson is an applied music professor at El Camino with a doctorate from the University of Southern California (USC) in jazz studies.

Patterson began working at EC in 2000 and has been teaching jazz improv to this day.

She can play a variety of instruments, ranging from the oboe, English horn, flute, piccolo, alto flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and baritone saxophone.

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, jazz was discriminatory and didn’t take women into consideration in a male-dominated genre. Patterson came up with the idea of creating an all-female professional big band.

A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz that consists of 12 to 25 musicians. It contains trumpets, trombones, saxophone, and a rhythm section.

“The name Maiden Voyage is a famous jazz piece by Herbie Hancock,” she said. “I wanted to find a name that suggested it was (made up of) women but also sounded like it was a jazz band.”

Maiden Voyage has appeared on Playboy, NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” Concord Jazz Festivals, the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the LA Classic Jazz Festival, Central Avenue Jazz Fest, the Universal Amphitheater and many more.

During performances, Patterson is known as a woodwind doubler, meaning she plays many woodwind instruments and can switch between multiple instruments during a live and ongoing performance.

“There have been times in my life where I would practice four to six hours a day, but I don’t usually have time for that anymore,” Patterson said. “I try to practice everyday. It’s sort of like exercise, you just need to keep doing it.”

Dorian Astorga is a 19-year-old business and music major at El Camino that plays the alto saxophone. He said he one day hopes to “be as good as his professor.”

“She’s really good, I hope one day I can get to her level,” Astorga said. “Until then, she’s teaching me how to get there and the proper steps I need to take in order to better myself as a musician.”

  • Maiden Voyage will be playing at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel at their event, Big Band Spectacular, on Sunday, May 28 at 8:15 p.m.
  • Each event will be sold as individual tickets, ranging from $10 to $25
  • For more information, call (562) 200- 5477
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Jazz Professor is part of an all-female big band