Concert for a cause: a foodie’s dream


Darien Hardy, Staff Writer

The UWF Jazz Studies program performed a truly delectable concert at the Fine and Performing Arts Center’s Mainstage Theatre on Oct 6, featuring both the Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble. Director Joseph Spaniola arranged the concert to benefit and spread awareness of the Argo Pantry. 

Spaniola designed the concert to consist of songs named entirely after food. 

“I was looking for music for the fall concert and I came across several tunes that had food titles,” Spaniola said. “As I was searching, I also noticed that I had an information card about the Argo Pantry on my desk. Since my programming and the Argo Pantry seemed to be aligned, I decided a concert highlighting the pantry would be a perfect pairing.”

While much of the food-themed music is lesser-known, the band still had the opportunity to experience a wonderful portion of the jazz repertoire. The Jazz Combo performed pieces such as Johnny Mercer’s “Tangerine,” Barney Kessel’s “Swedish Pastry” and Chris Yacich’s “I Like Bananas.” 

Afterward, the Jazz Ensemble performed classics like Ricardel and Evans’s “Frim Fram Sauce,” which was made famous by the Nat King Cole Trio, and Dexter Gordon’s “Cheesecake,” as well as lesser-known pieces like Bo Curnow’s “Saffron.” The Ensemble closed the show with Rick Hirsh’s “Free Food?”

The concert featured multiple soloists. One of the bass players, Max Levesque, was UWF’s Emerging Guest Artist for the performance. Other featured players include baritone saxophone player Mia Morehouse, trumpet player Breanna Luscombe and guitarist Ben Sane. 

The four featured musicians in the Jazz Combo were trumpet and flugelhorn player Noemi Ruiz, pianist Andrew Gregg, bassist Max Levesque and drummer Jensen Cadenhead. 

At UWF, 30 percent of students don’t get the nutrition that they need. The Argo Pantry’s mission is to help students in need attain healthy food at a lower cost. 

Spaniola expanded on the inspiration behind his concert arrangement during the show. “Food started it all,” he said. 

The Center for Fine and Performing Arts is planning more concert events beginning Oct 14 and going until Nov 30. For more event details and ticket information, visit