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April 14
2014 - "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams (CalArts BFA 1973) named winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music [story]
John Luther Adams


| Thursday, Feb 22, 2024
Fabian-Chavez-Joe Jonas
CSUN alumnus Fabian Chavez '15 (left), accompanies Joe Jonas on tenor saxophone on the Jonas Brothers' "The Tour" in 2023. Photo by Ashley Gellman.


By Ruby Durant

Bright lights, thousands of screaming fans — dream job. For California State University, Northridge alumni Fabian Chavez ’15 (Saxophone Performance/Jazz) and Danica Pinner ’14 (Cello Performance), this isn’t some distant fantasy. It’s right now, as the pair of early 30somethings tour with the Jonas Brothers.

“My work is my life, music is my life,” Chavez said.

The alumni, who met as classmates in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, toured North America on the Jonas Brothers’ “The Tour” in 2023 — and, starting this summer, will criss-cross the globe on the pop-rock band’s upcoming “Five Albums. One Night. The World Tour,” experiencing different cultures and doing what they love. Chavez accompanies the band on the tenor saxophone, and Pinner plays the cello.

Pinner began playing with the brothers at the Hollywood Bowl shows on their reunion tour, “Happiness Begins,” in 2019. She had worked with Nick Jonas previously and received a call from the band’s music director, who asked her to join “The Tour.” Chavez was tapped to join the group’s backing musicians in July 2023 by a mutual friend, the group’s pianist.

Danica Pinner Jonas Brothers

CSUN alumna Danica Pinner ’14 plays the cello at center stage, on tour with the Jonas Brothers. Photo by Miles Leaves.

CSUN helped give Chavez and Pinner a world-class music education, they said, but the university also developed them as well-rounded individuals.

“What I took with me [from CSUN] is how to keep good relationships with people … and music is highly collaborative,” Pinner said. She learned how to connect her instrument to her voice in a jazz improv course, and she credited CSUN professors with teaching her responsibility and how to work with others — something for which she remains grateful.

Chavez looked back at his time with CSUN faculty, including Gary Pratt — professor emeritus of music and former co-director of the university’s renowned Jazz Studies Program — as inspiring, motivating and reassuring. Pratt frequently told students to “be the person [they] are and be confident in that,” Chavez recalled.

Transitioning from their time as students to life on the road as touring musicians was a drastic change. Adjusting to the travel schedule was challenging. Their routine typically consists of playing a show, and then getting on a tour bus and waking up in a new city every day — while sometimes going months without seeing their families.

“But the moment we step on stage, it’s time to party,” Pinner said. They genuinely love the music they’re performing, making their job that much more thrilling, both musicians agreed. Chavez described the shows as a “party, [a] spectacle — and memorable.”

Both musicians already have racked up a long list of credits with some of pop’s biggest names. Pinner has played cello live at the Greek Theatre for Avril Lavigne, for Christina Aguilera at the 2021 People’s Choice Awards, for Lewis Capaldi live on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and many more. Chavez has played flute for six songs on Tyler, the Creator’s recent album, “Call Me If You Get Lost,” and saxophone on the song “Ladders” by Mac Miller, among others.

Both offered advice to aspiring musicians — especially those who want to work in Hollywood and beyond: Say ‘yes’ to every opportunity, support other musicians and, “aside from being a good musician,” be a good colleague.

As working musicians on the world’s biggest stages, they understand that they’re creating memories and evoking emotions.

“Any opportunity I get to make people feel something, makes me happy and full,” Chavez said.

Fabian Chavez with Joe Jonas

Fabian Chavez (left) plays the tenor saxophone alongside Kevin Jonas on the Jonas Brothers’ “The Tour” in 2023. Photo by Ashley Gellman.

Danica Pinner Jonas Brothers Tour

Alumna Danica Pinner (seated), with her cello at center stage, on tour with the Jonas Brothers. Photo by Ashley Gellman.

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Friday, Apr 12, 2024
The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons will host an in-person Open House event from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24 to preview academic programs offered by partner institutions, including University of La Verne and National University and showcase the facility’s rental spaces.
Friday, Apr 12, 2024
The Science Talks Series at College of the Canyons will offer a Garden Walk at the Canyon Country Campus on Friday, April 26 at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Thursday, Apr 11, 2024
Offering a look into Los Angeles through his eyes, photographer and director Estevan Oriol will talk about his journey as an artist and his photography during a visit next week to California State University, Northridge. 
Monday, Apr 8, 2024
Greg Gifford, Ph.D., will be the featured speaker at this year’s commencement ceremony at The Master’s University.
Monday, Apr 8, 2024
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a business meeting Wednesday, April 10, beginning at 4 p.m.
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