Music has the power to not only bring people together but to inspire as well. Art Arriola, a 62-year-old student at Chabot College, uses his talent as a trumpet player to bring joy to all who would listen.
While the trumpet is Arriola’s primary instrument, he also plays the trombone, French horn, and the cornet. He has been a musician for 53 years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Starting his adventure at Chabot College in the Fall of 2016, Arriola has managed to obtain many certificates that Chabot has to offer such as, Audio Recording through the Music Recording Technology (MURT) classes, Music Industry Entrepreneur, and a certificate for Music Production.
Having a double major in Music and Communication, Arriola after obtaining a degree in Music, wanted to open up a school called “Art, Music, and Promotion.” Its purpose was to teach young musicians how to record, duplicate and promote their music. This was his original plan. As time goes on, plans do change. Having experience connecting with the other students on campus, he decided to pursue a career in counseling.
Most of Arriola’s influences to become a musician came at a very young age. Maynard Ferguson, James Brown, and Tower of Power were the significant influences in developing Arriola’s playing style. He always got a kick out of Jazz, but Arriola felt that Smooth Jazz was quite easy to navigate.
At the age of 15 in the summer of 1971, Arriola was in a band called “International Sound” and participated in the Battle of the Bands that was held at Chabot College. Since then, he has maintained his passion, and 45 years later, that fire in his heart is still burning and managed to find his way back on the campus of Chabot, coming full circle.
Many events happen in the Performing Arts Center (PAC), and the Big Band always drew in a crowd. Directed by Chabot’s very own Professor Palacio, Arriola, of course, was in the brass section. Arriola also put together a crew for the Jazz Combo 2 which is on a smaller scale but still entertaining nonetheless.
Arriola also contributed to helping students learn how to do live audio mixing with the help of other musicians in the music program. MURT 25 was teaching their students how to put PA systems together, and they needed a band. They were glad to help.
When asked what the most rewarding thing about playing music was, Arriola, replied, “It’s fun, it’s very fun. That’s all I can say.” His expression was quite humble and wholesome. Playing with individuals with so many different backgrounds is a reward in itself.
The most memorable gig Arriola participated in was, as he stated, “I was invited to play with a band called Nathan Owens and A Tribute to Sly and the Family Stone. They offered to pay for my plane ticket to Seattle, and my hotel and food were free. Everyone had a good time, and I got paid. It took place around 2014-2015.”
Speaking of favorite gigs, his wife of seven years, Sylvia Mendoza Arriola has this to say, “I used to watch his band play at The Bistro in Hayward, and I caught a few of his shows before I asked to take a photograph with him. He looked real sharp with a suit and a red hat. After seeing another one of his shows, I decided to reintroduce myself, and the rest is history. August 8, 2012, is our anniversary.”
Regrettably, because of his class schedule, Arriola has been tuning down gigs. “It’s hard to find the time working a job and having 17 units on my plate,” Arriola states. He even turned down a gig to perform with Julius Melendez who was a Grammy Award-winning trumpet player who also contributed to the “Supernatural” album by Santana. Fortunately, he has a gig lined up for New Year’s Eve in Danville.
Arriola still maintains contact with Casey Hurt who was a Professor at Chabot for Music Song Writing. His relationship with Hurt could potentially open up a lot of doors for Arriola and could lead to some pretty sweet gigs for composing TV and film.
Art Arriola has the reputation of having a really good dynamic with other musicians. If anyone is at all interested in collaborating with Arriola or interested to see where he goes next, simply go to artarriola.com.