The school year may be winding down, but the concert season for Edmonds-Woodway High School jazz students is still in full swing. Jazz students at Edmonds-Woodway High School will join jazz icons and celebrated artists and perform in the 5th annual Bellevue Jazz Festival May 30-June 3.
“The students are excited for this year’s festival,” said Jake Bergevin, who has been the band instructor at Edmonds-Woodway since 1999 and has been taking student jazz groups to the Bellevue Jazz Festival since it began in 2008. “I love jazz. Any time we get to play in festivals like this I’m pretty happy.”
Two Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Combos will be performing in the Bellevue Jazz Festival’s Student Showcase this year. Each quartet, which are student-organized and include a guitarist, bassist, drummer and the tenor saxophonist, will play in the styles of Jazz greats Wes Montgomery and Dexter Gordon. The students meet outside of school to rehearse their material and share their love of jazz. There aren’t any auditions for the groups; the members are all friends who are mostly juniors with a few seniors. “They do everything,” Bergevin said.
EWHS students participating are:
-Miles Laven, junior on drums
-Jack Roben, junior on guitar
-Jackson Mindt, junior on bass
-Max Bennett, junior on tenor sax
The students’ hard work and dedication pays off. The combos are routinely honored with the “Outstanding Combo Award” at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and the “Outstanding Rhythm Section Award” at the Columbia Basin Community College Jazz Festival.
A few of the jazz students have also earned the opportunity to perform with the KPLU School of Jazz Rising Stars at the Bellevue Jazz Festival. These outstanding students were nominated by Bergevin and chosen to perform in one of three ensembles that are led by a local professional musician. The selected students rehearse and perform with other musically talented students from area high school programs, which allows them to meet new friends and expand their jazz network.
The Rising Stars program will culminate with the ensembles performing at the closing event of the Bellevue Jazz Festival at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 3 at Bake’s Place in downtown Bellevue. “I like the Rising Stars concept, I think it’s a cool idea and I like that there’s an educational concept to the Bellevue Jazz Festival,” Bergevin said.
Congratulations to the Edmonds-Woodway High School jazz students for their great achievements. Be sure to catch their shows as well as 40 free shows and headline acts offered at this year’s Bellevue Jazz Festival. For information on the festival visit http://www.bellevuejazz.com/
Additional info on the jazz festival:
The Bellevue Jazz Festival is held in downtown Bellevue over five days, beginning Wednesday, May 30 through Sunday, June 3 and features a mix of ticketed and free performances by top national and regional jazz musicians.
Headline acts include the GRAMMY-nominated Clayton Brothers Quintet featuring the renowned brothers John and Jeff Clayton, legendary multi-instrumentalist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Booker T. Jones of Booker T. and the MG’s, and premier jazz flautist and 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award winner Hubert Laws and his Quintet.
In addition, over 40 free shows featuring top local and regional artists, plus a Student Showcase with the best school jazz bands in the area, will keep the music flowing throughout the weekend.
Tickets to individual concerts and all access Theatre Packages can be purchased online at bellevuejazz.com or by phone: 1-800-838-3006. Student discounts are available.
The Bellevue Jazz Festival is produced by the Bellevue Downtown Association. For more information, visit bellevuejazz.com.