[JPL] High school musicians to play at renowned Seattle night club
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
"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./
Dr. Jazz Operations
Oak Park, MI 48237
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