From our Essentially Ellington correspondent: EW Jazz Band on ‘biggest stage of their lives’

A reminder that you can watch the rest of the school bands perform, and the announcement of finalists, via this link on My Edmonds News.

laven swing 2By Bruce Laven

Saturday, May 12th found the members of the EWHS Jazz Band on the biggest stage of their lives. In front of a packed house at the Rose Theater, Lincoln Center’s “House of Jazz,” the Edmonds Warriors had to bring their “A” game, and they did!

After director Jake Bergevin thanked the Edmonds parents and community for all their support, his band opened with Ellington’s “Peanut Vendor,” a rousing Latin-flavored tune featuring Kyle Brooks on clarinet and set up nicely by Miles Laven on drums.

Perhaps the highlight of the performance was their rendition of Billy Strayhorn’s ominous ballad, “Blood Count.” The extraordinary blend of the band provided warmth and support for senior Mike Dechant, who had the audience in a trance with his hauntingly beautiful alto sax solo.

Finishing their set with the challenging “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue,” the band got into a romp featuring a variety of soloists, most notably Max Bennett on tenor sax and Anthony McIntosh on guitar.

During rounds two and three on Sunday the EWHS band members will listen and support eight other bands and await the decision of the judges to see if they will be one of three bands to play in the final concert Sunday evening.

Bruce Laven, a band teacher at Meadowdale Middle School for 20 years, is with the Edmonds-Woodway High School Jazz Band at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival in New York City.



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