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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE students’ band creates magical music together

Marcus+Ybarra%2C+Marquise+Jones+and+Travis+Hearne+play+for+SE+student+group+Mix+Magyk+at+its+recent+performance+in+Roberson+Theatre.+The+group+will+record+an+album+next+month.%0D%0ADavid+Reid%2FThe+Collegian
Marcus Ybarra, Marquise Jones and Travis Hearne play for SE student group Mix Magyk at its recent performance in Roberson Theatre. The group will record an album next month. David Reid/The Collegian

By Karen Gavis/se news editor

Marcus Ybarra, Marquise Jones and Travis Hearne play for SE student group Mix Magyk at its recent performance in Roberson Theatre. The group will record an album next month.
David Reid/The Collegian

A well-dressed instrumental group mixed it up while performing at a spring concert March 6 in the SE Campus Roberson Theatre.

Mix Magyk, which consists of former and current SE students, performed the spring concert’s finale and will travel to Austin soon to record its initial album.

The group met while playing in the SE jazz band, which is directed by music, art, dance department chair Gregory Dewhirst.

“It’s great to show other students and the community the industry side of it once they leave TCC’s doors,” he said.

Those attending the concert could experience a blend of genres that create the sound of Mix Magyk, who appeared at home onstage. During the show, bassist Matt Garcia’s hair slung and drummer Craig Kleiman played without restraint. At one point, a saxophone duel seemed to be taking place.

Saxophonist Marcus Ybarra said the members of the band “can read each other.”

Another of the band’s saxophonists, Travis Hearne said he grew up in church and adds some gospel as well as hip-hop and rhythm and blues to the mix.

“Pretty much everyone just does their own thing,” saxophonist Marquise Jones said. “In the beginning, we were just jamming.”

Sometimes, a totally different sound will emerge than what the band intends to play, and they will just go with it, Kleiman said.

“That’s why we are called Mix Magyk,” Jones said. “We are not going to be in a box.”

Mix Magyk recently landed a gig at the House of Blues in Dallas while helping out Jesse Rya, a friend who plays at the House of Blues restaurant.

“The manager offered [to let] him to play on a larger stage, but he needed a band,” Garcia said.

And Mix Magyk was ready.

“The more we immerse ourselves into different projects, the more experience we get,” Garcia said.

In April, the group will record its debut album in the audio engineering department of the Art Institute of Austin. Keyboardist Julian Ayacannoo previously attended the college.

Once the album is completed, Garcia said he plans to market the band’s music on Pandora, an Internet radio site. In the meantime, band members play outside gigs to help with out-of-pocket costs.

“On the demos, we all shelled out of our own piggy banks,” Garcia said.

Ayacannoo’s mother, Sharon, said Mix Magyk took over a room that she had added onto her house to practice in.

South Grand Prairie High School student Vivian Sanchez attended the spring concert and said she liked the way the band really gets into their music.

“I like the jazz and the fusion genre that they’re in,” said SE student Cathy Barreza.

Dewhirst, who joined the musicians on the saxophone during the concert, said it was a thrill to bring Mix Magyk onto SE’s stage.

But where does Mix Magyk’s sound come from, one may ask? It could be magic.

“It came to us in our sleep,” Kleiman said.

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