SPC Innovation Grant Supports a Unique Blues/Jazz Showcase Master Class

July 18, 2018

Public Information Officer


All who are up for a bit of music in a master class format this week should attend the free Blues/Jazz Showcase Master Class July 18 at 1 p.m. in the 600-seat Watson Fine Arts Center at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive in the city's Denver Heights neighborhood.

What is unique about this music class is that it is the first partially supported by an Innovation Grant from St. Philip's College with college music faculty members Dr. David Torres and Eric Schmidt as the grant recipients, explained Greg Gonzales, chair of the college's fine arts department.

"A master class never involves the regular teacher on the stage. Traditionally the regular teacher brings in the guest artists and their accomplished professional views from the outside, to bring new insights in for students," Gonzales said. "Our guitar and instrument students will be in attendance. Rather than an evening program, we wanted to do it in the day, while students are here. And we will be on the stage, in a relaxed session that I hope will be educational.

"It's supported by an internal St. Philip's College Innovation Grant," said Gonzales. "St. Philip's College president Dr. Adena Williams Loston and college vice president for academic success Randall Dawson had the idea, and when we applied, our faculty were funded for a master class where an outside professional musician group can come in to a community college and do a demonstration as they teach music students about what they are doing.

"We used to have San Antonio Symphony and guest artists do this for us in residence," said Gonzales. "We wanted to bring that back, and thankfully we got funded for it. The guest artists will teach blues and commercial music to our students and visitors who do not get regular exposure to that. This is a chance. Maybe a student volunteer will come up on stage to learn a few tricks of the trade in a one-on-one lesson from a professional, in addition to how to make this part of their revenue stream.

"This is our first try at this and we hope this goes well, because it could lead to something. The Alamo Colleges District institutes are promoted in this effort. When you are studying with us, it leads to a career in our Communications And Creative Arts Institute. We will have experts and professionals talking about their careers in songwriting and ways we do things in the professional world," Gonzales said.

For program details, contact the college's Fine Arts Department at 210-486-2205.

The following is an excerpt from the event program, with all events subject to changeā€¦

St. Philip's College Department of Fine Arts Presents Blues/Jazz Showcase Master Class July 18 at 1 p.m.


  • A Blues Set | Jimmy Spacek Band
  • Jazz Blues | Master Class Guests
  • Vintage and Mixed Style blues | Guests


  • Song writing | Jimmy Spacek
  • Blues Form | Greg Gonzales
  • Modifying Guitar sounds | Cliff Faldowski, Henry Morris, Jimmy Spacek
  • Bass Lines | Jack Barber, Joe Sarli, Val Cronk
  • Jimmy Spacek Band: Jimmy Spacek (guitar), Val Cronk (bass and keys), Gene Godley (drums)
  • Guests: Cliff Faldowski (guitar and synth), Henry Morris (guitar), Jack Barber (bass), Joe Sarli (bass)
  • Special Guest (Ronnie Parker)

CAPTION: Images of St. Philip's College students and faculty in rehearsal this week are a reminder that the college's first free Blues/Jazz Showcase Master Class is July 18 at 1 p.m. in the 600-seat Watson Fine Arts Center at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive in the city's Denver Heights neighborhood. Rehearsing in Image 1 (from left) are college adjunct art instructor Rodrigo Benavides and student Mi K. Yi. Rehearsing in Image 2 (from left) are student Alyas Pacheco and college music Instructor Dr. David Torres. (SPC images by Julysa Sosa)