The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

    Tumbledown House’s eight year journey leads them to EC

    As the technicolor lights hit the stage on Saturday, Sept. 16 in the Marsee Auditorium, vocalist Gillian Howe, guitarist Tyler Ryan Miller, and their musical ensemble shuffle onstage to sporadic and hesitant applause.

    By the end of the performance, the audience was roaring with cheers and begging for an encore from jazz group, Tumbledown House.

    The group originally began eight years ago, spawning from the friendship Miller and Howe shared while being coworkers at a brewery.

    “I started playing the guitar when I was a little kid and just getting into that rock and roll lifestyle was really appealing to me,” Miller said. “When I went to college, I studied jazz and was a part of a whole new experience.”

    Miller became “frustrated” with jazz but felt that combining his and Howe’s skill sets would result in a new sound.

    “I saw it as an opportunity to use my jazz training in conjunction with her really esoteric lyric writing,” Miller said.

    With Miller’s persistence, Howe realized that venturing into the music industry was the right decision for her.

    “I went to grad school to became a teacher and didn’t think I had time for music in my life anymore,” Howe said. “It was really Tyler’s insistence that I should keep (music) in my life and he was right because I do this full time and I don’t teach anymore.”

    Miller and Howe hope that their version of jazz breaks the confines in which traditional jazz is structured.

    “There are so many jazz shows where jazz is presented in a very sterile environment where everyone is extremely quiet and you sit there and you clap at just the right moment,” Miller said. “Back in the day when jazz was popular in its heyday that wasn’t what it was. You would go to dance, drink, and you could get arrested.”

    “Without the jail time, that’s what we’re trying to bring back. We want jazz to be fun,” Miller said.

    Shane Shiosaki, 22, music major attended the show without having listened to Tumbledown House before.

    “It’s very unique, fun, and intuitive. I like it a lot,” Shiosaki said.

    Howe hopes that aspiring musicians hold a realistic approach when it comes to pursuing music as a career choice.

    “Stay malleable,” Howe said. “I encourage everyone to go into (music) because I think it saves lives.”

    More to Discover