[JPL] High school musicians to play at renowned Seattle night club

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Wed Oct 29 11:53:41 EDT 2008

  Living the jazz fantasy

October 28, 2008

By Chantelle Lusebrink

    High school musicians to play  at renowned Seattle night club


The Liberty jazz band performs 

The Liberty jazz band performs

Nearly 60 of Issaquah's students will step into the spotlights of 
Dimitrou's Jazz Alley in Seattle next week. The stage at Jazz Alley has 
seen some of the genre's greatest musicians perform. People like Oscar 
Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie and the Count Basie Orchestra have all left 
their mark since the club opened in 1979.

On Nov. 5, students from Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline high schools jazz 
bands will give a concert there, the first time the three bands will 
perform together. 

"It is a great opportunity to play downtown," said Phil Donley, the 
director of bands for Liberty. "It is a great venue, and is an 
opportunity for students to play in a professional environment and step 
it up a level."

Donley helped coordinate the event with the club's directors after he 
watched a show there, and he made sure each of the three bands received 
the opportunity to play.

"We believe that musicians, student musicians, are a big part of the 
tradition of jazz and we fully support nurturing the students," Rob 
Perry, general manager for the club, said. "We not only hope that one, 
it helps them get an appreciation for how wonderful of an art form jazz 
is, but also for some of them, they are going to be doing it for their 

"It is a fantastic learning experience for them," David Pitt, the 
director of bands at Skyline, said. "To go to a club where the monsters 
of jazz have performed is really great for them."

It's the first time many of the students have set foot in a widely 
acclaimed professional venue. 

"The most exciting part is that there are real people there," said 
Liberty senior Andrew Nyte, "not just our parents or people that don't 
want to be there. These are people that have seen real jazz shows before 
and enjoy them, and that makes me want to play better."

It is a challenge the students have been working toward since the 
beginning of the school year. 

"How often do students get to say they performed at a major club?" asked 
Patrick Holen, director of bands for Issaquah. "You never know who is 
going to be at that club watching."Once the kids heard about playing at 
Jazz Alley, their whole work ethic changed dramatically. They knew they 
had to step up and they've done that." 

For many students, jazz band is more a hobby or elective, since they 
also play in their school's more traditional symphonic, pep and marching 
bands or orchestras. 

Other students do it for the love of learning different styles of music. 

"It is a good opportunity to expand your horizons and play different 
things, or improvise and solo," Issaquah senior Zach Perniola said. 

Still others find it ties into everyday curriculum, like breaking down 
fractions, Skyline student James Nielsen said.

But most of all, they have fun with it and each other. 

"I love playing jazz music," said Jake Tacher, a senior jazz student at 
Issaquah. "It is a ton of fun to play with these people every day." 

/Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or 
clusebrink at isspress.com./

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