The SBCC Foundation is excited to present a groundbreaking benefit concert at the Lobero Theatre on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. that will showcase the amazing talents of SBCC Music students and faculty along with special guest Michael McDonald.

SBCC’s award-winning Lunch Break Jazz Band directed by Jim Mooy will present an exciting tribute to Ray Charles. The SBCC New World Jazz Ensemble directed by Tony Ybarra will accompany Michael McDonald in a tribute to Steely Dan’s classic album Aja, along with other songs from his illustrious career. The concert will also feature Tess Erskine, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who is an alumna of the SBCC Songwriting class.

The concert is expected to sell out. A limited number of VIP tickets are available that include a reception where attendees will meet and greet with Michael McDonald and SBCC musicians. “Few members of our community realize the incredible talents that reside within SBCC’s music program. This will be an extraordinary opportunity to hear them perform live alongside a renowned Grammy-winning artist. We are so grateful to Michael McDonald for his generosity. All of the performers are donating their time and talents for this special evening,” says Geoff Green, CEO for the SBCC Foundation.

Tickets are on sale now and range from $45 to $60, with VIP tickets available for $150. SBCC students may attend at the reduced price of $25. Get tickets now online at the Lobero Theatre.

The concert will directly benefit the internationally renowned SBCC Music program, which offers a wide range of performance opportunities, courses of study, and a welcoming atmosphere for all students. The program is open to all instrumentalists/vocalists and prepares students for entry into a four-year music school or a professional career. Students have continued their studies at USC, UCLA, Chapman University, NYU, and numerous universities across the country. Many have established successful careers in music education, technology, and performance. Pop star Katy Perry is a graduate of the SBCC Songwriting class. Grammy award-winning saxophonist Kevin Garren and multi-platinum producer/songwriter Tim Pagnotta are also SBCC Music alumni. Visit for more information and to view videos of student performances.

Michael McDonald – With a career that encompasses five Grammys, numerous chart successes and personal and professional accolades, as well as collaborations with some of the world’s most prominent artists, Michael McDonald remains an enduring force in popular music. Hailing from St. Louis, McDonald arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, honing his talents as a studio musician before becoming an integral part of Steely Dan. In the mid-’70s McDonald was invited to join the Doobie Brothers as the band redefined their sound with McDonald serving as singer, keyboardist and songwriter on such Top 40 singles as “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “Minute By Minute” and “What A Fool Believes.” Throughout the ’80s and ’90s McDonald’s solo career took off with a string of hits including “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” “Sweet Freedom,” “On My Own” (with Patti LaBelle) and the Grammy-winning James Ingram duet “Yah Mo B There,” plus he co-wrote the Van Halen hit “I’ll Wait.” McDonald has performed with a who’s-who of critically acclaimed artists across a number of genres, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Vince Gill and Grizzly Bear.

McDonald’s album Wide Open (2017), finds him collaborating with a number of special guests including Warren Haynes, Robben Ford, Marcus Miller and Branford Marsalis. McDonald’s first album of original material in 17 years, Wide Open is comprised largely of material written over a number of years in-between projects and recorded in McDonald’s Nashville studio with drummer Shannon Forrest (Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Toto) and an extensive cast of Nashville session musicians. The record follows a trio of albums of R&B and soul covers McDonald recorded for the fabled Motown label, the most recent being 2008’s Soul Speak.

McDonald’s other recent collaborations include his work on the critically acclaimed track “Show You The Way” with multi-genre bassist, singer and producer Thundercat and Kenny Loggins; McDonald performed the song with Thundercat during a surprise guest appearance at Coachella in April. This past spring, McDonald was joined by Solange Knowles, Allen Stone, Lawrence and members of Snarky Puppy and Vulfpeck at the Okeechobee Music Fest. McDonald continues to tour extensively as a solo artist, with a lengthy run of summer and fall tour dates planned with Loggins and Boz Scaggs.

James Mooy currently conducts the award winning Lunch Break Jazz Ensemble, and the 70-piece Symphony Orchestra at Santa Barbara City College. Under his leadership, the SBCC Lunch Break Jazz Ensemble was one of 6 finalist bands chosen for the Monterey Next Gen Jazz Festival for three consecutive years. He is a Music Academy of the West alumnus and has toured the US and Japan as a professional trumpet player. Last year he conducted the 2017 SCSBOA Honor Jazz Ensemble at the NAMM show and SCSBOA convention in Anaheim. He also served as a clinician/adjudicator for the 2017 Reno Jazz Festival.

Tony Ybarra is director of the SBCC New World Jazz Ensemble, and is an active, sought-out guitarist and recording artist in many styles, recognized as an authority in Flamenco and Latin styles. His music has been featured on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and can be heard in many episodes of the Showtime hit “Dexter.” Many of Tony’s recordings have been used movies, TV shows and commercials. He has recorded six albums under his own name and recorded music for the Compass label, which has been featured across the United States. Tony is currently an adjunct professor of music at SBCC (where he is also an alumnus), directs the advanced Jazz Combo, and works with advanced guitar students.

Dr. John Clark is the SBCC music department Chairman. He teaches Theory and Musicianship, several music literature classes including Jazz History, History of Rock and Roll, and Music Appreciation. Dr. Clark earned his Ph.D. in Music History from UCSB. He is a pianist and composer, coordinates and performs in the Fall Chamber Concert each year, and composed music for the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “The Kentucky Cycle.” Dr. Clark’s achievements in education have been well recognized, and he was the SBCC Annual Faculty Lecturer for 2006–2007. Dr. Clark created the first songwriting class at SBCC music. Many of his students have gone on to achieve the highest level of success in the industry. Notable alumni are Tim Pagnotta, Tess Erskine, Crosby Loggins, and superstar Katy Perry.

Tess Erskine has been singing and creating music from an early age. Growing up in a musical household, she began her career performing music with her singer-songwriter father, Eric Erskine. She later took up the guitar and began writing her own songs. Tess attended SBCC from 2015 to 2017, taking classes with a focus on her music development. The musical foundation created in her home grew during her time at SBCC through the classes offered, exceptional teachers and collaborative experiences with her peers. In 2016, she released her five song EP Last Thread and in 2017 a follow up album Paper Heart. Tess’s powerful, emotionally driven vocals and singular songs continue in a long tradition of great female singer-songwriters. In 2017, Tess participated in a music tour and filmmaking project for the pilot of A Day in This Life. Tess recently moved to Nashville, TN where she has discovered the same creative inspiration that she found at SBCC. She is currently working in songwriting groups to build a catalogue of songs and is also working on a new EP with the duo HayTess.