Stage Surprise: SFCM Student Jams with Jazz Greats

RJAM, Esperanza Spaulding, Terri Lynne Carrington, SFCM, SFS,

RJAM guitar student Junhong Jung playing with jazz musician's Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding.

RJAM student Junhong Jung found himself in an impromptu jam session with jazz icons Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington. The two joined him on stage after he performed at the San Francisco Symphony’s reopening night gala.

By Mark Taylor

It’s not everyday a music student finds himself in a spontaneous jam session with two famous jazz stars, yet that’s exactly what happened to sophomore Junhong Jung. Through Hire SFCM, the Roots, Jazz, and American Music guitar student was playing at the San Francisco Symphony’s donor event for its reopening gala when the unexpected happened. 

Jazz bassist, singer, and composer Esperanza Spalding and drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington joined him onstage for a spur-of-the-moment performance. 

“They asked if they could sit in, it was such an honor,” Jung said of the experience. The pair played one song on stage with Jung for about 7-8 minutes where Jung said he was definitely star struck at first, “I was definitely frozen. I felt like I was dreaming. I tried to follow their amazing time, feel, and rhythm at my best. They were just so amazing.” 

Other than side-by-side experience with Joshua Redman and Matt Wilson or lessons with Julian Lage, Randy Vincent, and Anthony Wilson according Jung this was the first time he was able to perform on stage with other professional jazz musicians, “Their rhythm and phrasing were extremely creative. They were riding the flow of each other and playing as an ensemble, and it was an awesome experience to even hear that beautiful performance.” 

Learn more about studying RJAM at SFCM.