FARMINGTON — A couple dozen people crammed into the Coffee House Deli on Friday night to listen to a jazz combo from San Juan College.

The five members of the jazz combo "Casual Riff" set up in a corner of the room and began to play.

Dr. Keith Cochrane, the director of the orchestra at the college and a member of the combo, said jazz is a truly American music and every song they played on Friday was written by an American composer.

Cochrane said he graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz.

Cochrane said as people's musical tastes mature, some people want a music style with more depth and turn to jazz. He said sometimes people who claim not to like Jazz will get up and dance during the concerts.

Like Cochrane predicted, as the combo sang "Killing Me Softly With His Song," a couple stood up, walked to a small open area, and began to dance.

Nick Doherty, the combo's violinist, said he originally got into music when his sister started playing the violin. He attended her orchestra concerts and decided that was what he wanted to do. Doherty said he is currently studying music and will graduate from San Juan College in May with a Liberal Arts degree. After he graduates, Doherty plans on pursuing his studies in music.

Doherty said small combos from the college like "Casual Riff" used to perform at Andrea Kristina's Bookstore and Kafe, but after Andrea Kristina's shut down, they were forced to find another venue.


Doherty said they chose the Coffee House Deli because they like to play in small environments. He said they will probably make the Coffee House their regular concert venue.

In addition to Doherty and Cochrane, the combo consists of Marcy Freestone on piano and vocals, Marvin Paioff on Bass and Derek Anderson on drums.

Hannah Grover may be reached at; 564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover