From our Essentially Ellington correspondent: ‘That was a blast,’ says honored clarinet player

laven swing 2By Bruce Laven

After listening to seven other jazz bands from all over the country, Edmonds-Woodway High School band members cheered on their local friends from Roosevelt High School. Perhaps that support helped the swingin’ Rough Riders finish in third place behind the Jazz House Kids from Montclair, N.J. and the winning band from the Tucson Jazz Institute of Arizona.

The EWHS woodwinds were honored with the Outstanding Clarinet Section award for the festival, and Outstanding Clarinetist Kyle Brooks. After his award-winning performance Saturday, Brooks said, beaming with pride and joy, “That was a blast!”

Brooks and his band mates have reason to be proud; they were part of a celebration of select young musicians who worked hard to perfect their craft and perform some of the most challenging music at the highest level.

On Monday, they finish with some sight-seeing in New York City and head home with fond memories of perhaps a life-changing event.

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


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