The annual Jazz Night (either the 12th or 13th annual, depending on who you talk to) is a great event for the musicians to let loose and show off what they’ve learned over the year. For some, it is their first performance, others their first solo, and for many, this performance may be their last at SMUS.
In the same vein as jazz festivals showcasing blues, soul, pop and (gasp!) rock acts, Jazz Night seems to be moving that way as well. Playing everything from Chick Corea to The Beatles, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and some newly re-energized ’80s tunes, the kids have clearly had a hand in choosing some of the music. Their interest showed in the improvisation and syncopation that are the hallmarks of jazz. Confident and solidly played trumpet, trombone, sax and percussion solos added to the evening.
One highlight was Grade 11 trumpeter Ben Parker and Band teachers Mr. Clements and Mr. Farish riffing on Duke Ellington’s “C-Jam Blues”, backed up by the Middle School jazz band. As a drummer, I gravitate towards the rhythm sections and SMUS is blessed for years to come with bass and percussion talent coming up from the younger grades.
Congratulations to Mr. Farish, Ms. Williams, Mr. Clements and all the musicians on an enjoyable and successful evening.
You can look at (and download) almost 100 high-resolution images from Jazz Night in the SMUS photo gallery.