Quartet performance at Plaza Unplugged

The Chris Lougeay Quartet performance at Plaza Unplugged.


On May 10th 2015, Mother’s Day, there was a special performance of The Chris Lougeay Quartet at the Plaza Unplugged series.  The sun was shining for two sets of swinging music.   Featuring the vocals of Ashley Taylor, and the vibraphone improvisation of Ian Harland.   Rounding out the group was Mackenzie Leighton on bass and Fernando Gomez on drums.

Starting out with selections from Duke Ellington, the quartet worked their way through the American Jazz standards.  A good portion of the set also incorporated other rhythmic styles of music, such as Cha Cha, bossa nova, and even Sonny Rollins’ calypso, St. Thomas.  Leighton and Gomez really drove the tight grooves and supported the soloists to improvise over of the harmonies.  Innovative musical arrangements were thrown together on the fly as the musicians engaged in sonic discussion.

This was the first time Fernando Gomez has performed in the group.  A young and upcoming drummer on the San Diego scene, Gomez is eager to work.   Well versed in the jazz tradition Gomez effortlessly kept time, accented melodies, and defined forms with creative fills.  When there were opportunities to ‘trade 4’s’, he cut loose on complex poly rhythmic flurries without dropping a beat.  Look forward to more performances from Gomez soon.

Ian Harland, Vibes.  Mack Leighton, Bass.  Fernando Gomez, Drums.

The rhythm section hangs out before the the downbeat. L-R: Ian Harland, Vibes. Mack Leighton, Bass. Fernando Gomez, Drums.

The response from the mall patrons was immediate and grateful.   All the tables in front of the bandstand were completely filled.  Children watched in awe at the strange sounds from the vibraphone… at least for a moment before they ran back to splash in the fountain.  The tip jar in front of the bandstand was filling up with generous donations from music lovers.  The result was great that the group was invited back for an encore performance this summer.  On Saturday July 25th, The Chris Lougeay Quartet will be back for another performance at the Plaza Unplugged series.


The Plaza Unplugged series is an on going event at the UTC Westfield mall. Located in beautiful La Jolla, CA, the outdoor mall brings thousands of people to their stores everyday.  Patrons browse Rolex watches, Apple computers or luxury electric cars at the Tesla showroom.  There is even a ice skating rink in the food court and a pet relief area.

Copyright © 2015. C. Lougeay

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