Southern University’s band, known as the “Human Jukebox,” performs Monday during Bandfest at Pasadena City College’s Robinson Stadium.
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After a day-long practice about a year ago, Southern University band director Kedric Taylor gathered his band of more than 200 for a quick message.
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Zaid Soberanis-Ramos, just for the first time, did not expect much. He thought Taylor would be giving instructions to the team for the weekend game or criticizing their practice that day. But when Taylor told the band, known as the “Human Jukebox,” that they had been chosen to perform in the 2020 Rose Parade, Soberanis-Ramos’ heart leaped.
“I’m shocked because we’re going to be in my backyard,” said Soberanis-Ramos, a Compton native. “It’s something I never thought I would do. Participating in this is simply a blessing. “
Soberanis-Ramos, 19, said she watched the Rose Parade on TV growing up, but she could never make the 23-mile drive to Pasadena to watch the New Year’s Eve parade live. Instead, choosing to attend a historically black college in Baton Rouge, La., unexpectedly gave him the opportunity to dream. Just being in the parade, he said, “gives me hope.”
Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber thought of this year’s theme, “The Power of Hope,” with people like Soberanis-Ramos in mind. Farber, the first Latina to serve in the role, said she wants to use her platform to promote diversity and inclusion.
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The Human Jukebox, along with many other bands that will be performing, includes it, he said. He’s excited for Southern California and the rest of the world to see that impact.
Zaid Soberanis-Ramos, right, adjusts his hat as he waits to perform with the Southern University Band during Bandfest at Pasadena City College.
“With the country and the world divided like this, we love the hope of bringing everyone together,” Farber said. “That’s what the American New Year celebration does. Hope is a powerful concept, and we want to focus on that.”
The word “hope” has never been used in 130 Rose Bowl themes before, Farber said. His life revolved around hope, he said, and he knows that this word will resonate with others if the parade is based on it.
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Farber was born in Argentina and immigrated to the United States with his family as a child to escape the country’s military dictatorship that seized power in the mid-1970s. He graduated from UCLA in 1987 and then at Georgetown Law three years later. She is now a wife, mother and attorney in Pasadena. He dedicated himself to the Tournament of Roses for 26 years and gradually rose through the ranks.
Laura Farber, president of the 2020 Tournament of Roses, took the stage to announce the 2020 Royal Court.
Every year he sees more and more leaders. The past five years have produced the first African-American and the first Asian president of the organization. Farber said the best part of the job is the people. Hearing their stories inspires him.
“Sometimes you don’t appreciate the impact of our events until you meet the people and see their engagement,” Farber said. “It changes them, especially the kids who didn’t leave their town or city and are now playing on a big international stage.”
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Her parents, who immigrated from Mexico before she and her four younger siblings were born, never went to college and worked hard to support them, she said. He used the band as a way to keep himself busy. He practiced for hours, carefully singing and perfecting his technique. He said he wanted to use music to improve his life.
“All the dedication and hard work is starting to pay off,” he said. “It prepared me for the real world – the routine, the uniform, the precision. When you see the joy on people’s faces when you sing and their heads are bowed, it’s all worth it.”
Soberanis-Ramos, a computer science major who wants to work in mobile technology, said a friend told her about Southern University, and she started watching marching band videos on YouTube. He found “one of the best bands in the world,” as Farber describes them.
Zaid Soberanis-Ramos, right, warms up with his team of more than 200, the Southern University marching band, a.k.a. the Human Jukebox, at Pasadena City College.
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The band is used to performing at top venues. Since its creation in 1947, it has played at Super Bowls, presidential inaugurations and the 1980 Rose Parade. Most famously, it headlined the reopening of the Louisiana Superdome in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina. After researching and witnessing what the band stood for, Soberanis-Ramos knew he wanted to be a part of it. He auditioned and was accepted.
Soberanis-Ramos said attending a black college was an eye-opener for her at first, noting the southern hospitality that permeated the campus. The positive energy and real sense of camaraderie gave him “a big culture shock,” he said. He and his partners are now bringing those unique feelings with them to Pasadena.
Bands from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are known for their pride and competitiveness. In 2017, ESPN’s The Undefeated ranked Human Jukebox the best HBCU band in the country. It has been calling itself the “Human Jukebox” since the 1960s because it prides itself on being able to play the “Top 40” songs of the day.
At Bandfest, a showcase of marching bands on Dec. 30, they donned dust uniforms and yellow sandals and paraded across the entire field at Pasadena City College, swimming and weaving with different faces while performing Lil Nas’ song “Old Town Street.” Farber even started dancing while watching from the sidelines.
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Lizzo, the Associated Press singer of the year, featured in the band’s music video in December. Performed at the Los Angeles Lakers halftime show and service at the Staples Center when they were in Los Angeles.
Members of the Southern University Marching Band pack their instruments on the bus for Bandfest at Pasadena City College.
Taylor said Soberanis-Ramos is a great ambassador for the band, and she’s excited they’ll be playing near the student’s hometown. Taylor is also excited that the Human Jukebox can give Californians some of their first introduction to HBCU bands. He is very happy that they are participating in this year of hope.
“This theme fits our program to a T,” Taylor said. “God created us all equal, and when you have everyone on the same page and pulling in the same direction, you can accomplish more.”
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Soberanis-Ramos said that it is important to make a show that the audience will not forget, especially the theme of this year.
“I’m going home, and I want people here to see what HBCUs stand for and what we’re all about,” he said. “I want them to see the love we have and hopefully it will open their eyes. We carry a lot of weight.”
Bands from Denmark, El Salvador, Japan and seven other districts will play in the parade, along with bands from 47 states. Farber said it was easy to choose Southern University after sifting through the applications. request he and the music committee.
Emmanuel Morgan is a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Before joining The Times in October 2019, her work appeared in the Charlotte Observer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Morgan is a graduate of Elon University and a native of Charlotte, NC Did the military band play ‘Hit the Road Jack’ outside the White House? Many on social media rejoiced at what appeared to be an epic US troll at the time. President Donald Trump.
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Ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, the Army band performed “Hit the Road Jack” outside the White House, where President Donald Trump still resides. at that time.
It led to the isolation of the United States at that time. President-elect Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, a video went viral to show the US Army conducting a “Hit the Road Jack” exercise outside the White House, where then-President Donald Trump was still living. it’s time.
The video was shared on Twitter on January 18, 2021, by a user named Cathay Dawkins, and was also shared the next day on TikTok. In both videos, the original poster said they were standing outside the White House as the military band practiced “Hit the Road Jack” just two days before the installation. ‘i Biden for president in the capital of the United States.
Within days of its initial release, the video has been circulating across social media platforms, including a YouTube video that was shared by user Jeremy Hocket and has been viewed over 60,000 times as of this writing.
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The US Military District of Washington was contacted to determine if the band had actually played the classic song recorded by Ray Charles.
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