By Ellen Chappelle
The award-winning musicians of the Edmonds-Woodway High School Jazz Ensembles will be performing their senior farewell concert in style this year. For one night only, both ensembles will be featured at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, presented by the Pacific Jazz Institute. The event will take place Monday, June 6 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $17 and can be reserved through Jazz Alley’s website.
The EWHS Jazz Ensembles are renowned throughout the Northwest and hailed as “one of the best five high school jazz bands” by Starbucks at their annual Hot Java Cool Jazz Concert at the Paramount Theater.
A three-time finalist in the Essentially Ellington national high school jazz band competition in New York City, Jazz Ensemble I will be directed by Jake Bergevin, EWHS band director and music department head. Jim Sisko will direct Jazz Ensemble II. Both men are gifted musicians and performers, as well as two of the most highly acclaimed teachers in the Northwest.
Students in both groups have taken top honors at regional and national competitions and have been featured in All-State and All-Northwest music groups, as well as National Ensembles like the Grammy Bands. The bands also serve their community by playing throughout the year at local events, businesses, private parties and benefits. This year both ensembles had the pleasure of performing with jazz trumpet legend Bobby Shew.
Congratulations to all the students for a successful year and best wishes to the departing seniors!
Jazz students from local schools hit multiple stages in Edmonds
Start your Memorial Day weekend off on a high note by attending the 11th annual Edmonds Jazz Connection this Saturday, May 28. The musical showcase, presented by Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary with support from the Hazel Miller Foundation, brings together talented students, professional musicians and the music-loving community for a day full of jazz.
Twenty local student jazz groups that have been working hard all year learning music and competing come together for a day of performing just for the fun of it. With no judges, no scores and no losers, the mood is sure to be relaxed and joyful as the students do what they love most.
With something for everyone, the absolutely free event offers big bands, vocal jazz and combos playing big band classics, modern choral pieces and everything in between. The musicians will perform all day – from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – in three venues throughout Edmonds:
Big Bands at Edmonds Masonic Center (Dayton between 5th & 6th)
Vocal Jazz at Edmonds Conference Center (Corner of 4th & Bell)
Jazz Combos at Edmonds Theater (Main between 4th & 5th)
The day will conclude with an evening jam session from 5-8 p.m. at the Edmonds Masonic Center, where the pros will join the kids.
In advance of the event, Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary brings professional musicians into the schools to work with the students, providing them with a level of mentorship not often available to them. And all of that is free of charge to the schools.
Attendees who would like to contribute to the program will have the opportunity to donate funds to help support this effort, where every dollar of profit goes to directly benefit the students in the form of scholarships and subsidies for music in the schools.
With a background in theatre and journalism, Ellen Chappelle is perfectly poised to covers the local arts scene for My Edmonds News. She also keeps busy writing and editing for artists and small businesses, publishing an informational site for dog owners and creating handcrafted jewelry. Please keep her posted about all things artistic in Edmonds by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.