March 28, 2013Vol. 43, Issue 1

Students Bring Their Music Outside

Chris Navarrete at an outdoor practice. Photo by Cierra Goldstein.

Chris Navarrete at an outdoor practice. Photo by Cierra Goldstein.

On Thursdays, if you’ve been lucky enough to wander by the PAC courtyard between 11 and 12:15, you’ve likely heard the sounds of one of Chico State’s student jazz combos. The alfresco lunchtime concerts are actually practice sessions for the two combos (called Dan and Dave)—and the brainchild of trumpeter Chris Navarrete.

Navarrete thought that taking their music outside would contribute to the vibrant cultural life of a college campus. “It’s cool to hear music everywhere, especially live music, in my opinion,” he says. “The campus itself is beautiful—and we wanted to contribute to that beauty. We can also use this opportunity to recruit and to show off the music department.”

Navarrete’s music career had an inauspicious start: he followed a girl he liked into band class in elementary school. He dallied with singing and the flute. But even after his schoolkid crush fizzled, he stayed loyal to music—eventually finding a steadier love after playing his grandfather’s trumpet. “I picked that up very quickly; it just naturally came to me,” he says.

His enthusiasm for life as a music student is obvious when he is describing his Chico Experience—“The professors here are great. They have allowed me to access all of the many opportunities that Chico State has to offer.” 

The aspiring music teacher is embracing every opportunity he can. His schedule is packed with back-to-back practices, performances, and music lessons for local high school students. He plays in the North State Symphony, Jazz X-Press, and multiple Chico State ensembles and bands. 

But his joy in music is most obvious when he is playing. “It’s not sounding technically proficient that I enjoy. I really just like making a good noise—it’s real basic,” he says. 

You can see Navarrete on the trumpet—and some of Chico State’s other talented student musicians—every Thursday starting at 11 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center courtyard. He will also perform in the Symphonic Winds’ Catfish Row April 13 and Jazz X-Pressions April 27.

—Anna Harris, Public Affairs and Publications