Garfield Jazz Foundation Meeting: Monday, Nov. 3

posted Oct 26, 2014, 11:28 AM by Garfield Jazz Admin

The next meeting of the Garfield Jazz Foundation will take place on Monday, November 3 at 7:00 pm in the Garfield Band Room (Room 219).  All parents and guardians of Garfield Jazz students are invited to attend.  Future GJF meetings will take place on the first Monday of each month during the school year.

Garfield Jazz Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support jazz education at Garfield.

Welcome (and Welcome Back) to Garfield Jazz!

posted Sep 15, 2014, 10:26 PM by Garfield Jazz Admin

Welcome to all new and returning Garfield Jazz families!!

On Sept. 14, Garfield Jazz families and Messrs. Acox and Zimmerman  gathered on a glorious late summer afternoon at Woodland Park for the Garfield Jazz annual potluck and picnic. Couldn’t make it? Watch your mailbox for a packet of important information for Garfield Jazz families that was distributed at the picnic. In the meantime, click here to read a welcome letter from Kathy Tanaka, President of the Garfield Jazz Foundation. And mark your calendars for September 28 (Royal Room jam session) and October 6 (Garfield Jazz Foundation meeting)--the journey begins!

Keep in Touch, Bulldog Jazz Alumni!

posted Jun 28, 2014, 8:04 PM by Garfield Jazz Admin

Class of 2014 and other Garfield Jazz alumni--we want to keep in touch with you!  As another class of graduates moves on to new adventures and new challenges, we are reminded that our alumni not only inspire our current students, but they can also play an ongoing role in the program, especially through participation in our Royal Room jam sessions.

Please LIKE our Facebook page and post your upcoming Seattle-area gigs so that our current Garfield jazz musicians can turn out to hear you.  Also, if you tweet us @GarfieldJazz, we'll be happy to give you a re-tweet.

Include your name and instrument (year of graduation is useful, too) along with group name/performers, date, time, place, admission fee, and any age restrictions.

You're also welcome to post recordings of your recent jazz performances to our Facebook page, so that the entire Garfield Jazz family can keep up with your progress.

Thanks for staying connected!

LEARN more at

LIKE us on Facebook at "Garfield High School Jazz Band"

FOLLOW us on Twitter @Garfield Jazz

WATCH us on YouTube at "Garfield Jazz"

Band II Wins Big in Bellevue!

posted May 12, 2014, 9:11 PM by Garfield Jazz Admin

While Ensemble I was occupied in New York, Garfield Jazz Ensemble II was busy defending the “home turf” at the 32nd annual Bellevue High School Jazz Festival on May 10, extending the Bulldog magic from coast to coast! Under the direction of Jacob Zimmerman, the band not only took home first place in the 3A high school division, but was also were awarded the  Sweepstakes Trophy, which recognizes the most outstanding ensemble of the festival! The judges commented that Garfield "had the most swing" of the nearly 50 competing high school and middle school bands. In the 3A division, Interlake High School placed second and Mercer Island High School placed third behind the Bulldogs. Congratulations to Band II on their terrific showing, and a special thanks goes to Mr. Zimmerman for stepping up to direct our musicians in Mr. Acox’s absence!

Garfield Lands 4th Place at Essentially Ellington! View Webcast, Etc.

posted May 10, 2014, 10:27 PM by Garfield Jazz Admin   [ updated May 28, 2014, 7:38 AM ]

The Garfield Jazz Ensemble’s thirteenth visit to the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition & Festival was a rousing success, as the band garnered a fourth place (Honorable Mention) finish and also brought home multiple individual and sectional awards!! In what the judges described as the most talented collection of bands in Essentially Ellington history, Garfield displayed the top-notch musicianship that has been a hallmark of Bulldog Jazz over the decades. Leading off the Saturday afternoon set, the band began with “Anitra’s Dance,” followed that with “Perdido,” and wrapped up with a sizzling rendition of “Black & Tan Fantasy.”  In addition to the overall Honorable Mention award, Garfield took home awards for Outstanding Trumpet Section, Outstanding Trombone Section and Outstanding Pep Section. Our individual honorees were: Charlie Feig (Honorable Mention, Trumpet),  Alice Mar-Abe (Honorable Mention, Piano), Tom Renehan (Honorable Mention, Trumpet), Charlie Sawyer (Honorable Mention, Tenor Sax), Jack Swiggett (Outstanding Piano) and Isak Washburn-Gaines (Outstanding Tenor Sax). A hearty congratulations to Mr. Acox and the entire band!!!

It was an extremely tight competition, as Wynton Marsalis reported that "there were only three or four points separating the top four bands." The overall winner of the competition for the second consecutive year was Tucson Jazz Institute (Tuscon, AZ). Second place went to Jazz House Kids (Montclair, NJ) and third place to Dillard Center for the Arts (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Kudos to the top finishers and all of the 15 finalist ensembles!!  

To view Garfield's performance in its entirety, click here to watch Jazz at Lincoln Center's webcast. (Garfield's segment begins at about the 9:00 mark.)

You can also watch a CBS News report on EE 2014KING 5's report (broadcast before the announcement of Garfield's award)and see KOMO TV's Ellington preview, featuring an extended report on both thye Garfield and Roosevelt jazz bands.

Click here for the Seattle Times' report on EE 2014.

Reno Jazz Festival Report

posted Apr 16, 2014, 4:41 PM by Garfield Jazz Admin

Garfield Jazz Ensemble II traveled to Nevada to compete at the 52nd annual Reno Jazz Festival at the University of Nevada from April 12-April 14. Students recognized for outstanding performances at the Festival were: Ben Lindenburg (tenor sax), Liam Connor (trumpet), Nicolas Lutenko (piano), Liya LaPierre (bass) and Daelen Gates (bass). In addition, the Jazz Ensemble II Combo received third place honors in its category. Liam Connor, Liya LaPierre, Ben Lindenburg, and Nicolas Lutenko were joined in the combo by Leo Shannon (guitar), and Blake Tiemann (drums). Click here to see the complete Festival results. Congratulations to these and all the musicians, and many thanks to the chaperones and Mr. Acox for making it all possible!

Bulldog Alumni Tapped for Golden Ear Honors

posted Mar 16, 2014, 10:27 AM by Garfield Jazz Admin

The continuing musical legacy of Clarence Acox and Garfield Jazz was reflected in the 2013 Golden Ear awards, presented by Earshot Jazz on March 10. Since 1990, Earshot Jazz has recognized outstanding achievement in Seattle-area jazz through these awards. This year’s recipients included Band III Director (and Garfield alumnus) Jacob Zimmerman in the “Emerging Artist” category and The Westerlies (featuring recent Bulldogs Riley Mulherkar, Zubin Hensler and Willem deKoch) in the “Alternative Jazz Group” category. The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble, which took “Acoustic Jazz Ensemble” honors, also counts Garfield alum among its members. Congratulations to all the honorees! For complete Golden Ear results, click here.

Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Results, Videos

posted Feb 23, 2014, 10:15 AM by Garfield Jazz Admin   [ updated Apr 2, 2014, 11:17 PM ]

At the 2014 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, ID, Garfield Jazz Band I was among the featured ensembles in Saturday evening’s Young Artists’ Concert, entertaining the Kibbie Dome audience with “I Had A Ball.” Additionally, Alice Mar-Abe, Jack Swiggett, and Isak Washburn-Gaines were all selected to play  in the “Hamp’s Club” concert for outstanding soloists ....... Congratulations to all!!

To watch videos of performances of Bands I and II, and the "Hamp's Club" solo performances (and many other Garfield Jazz performances), visit the Garfield Jazz YouTube channel.

Lucky Thirteen! Garfield to Make 13th Appearance at Essentially Ellington!

posted Feb 19, 2014, 11:35 AM by Garfield Jazz Admin   [ updated Feb 19, 2014, 1:07 PM ]

We are delighted to announce that Garfield Jazz Ensemble I has been selected to compete in the 19th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival!  EE 2014 will take place May 8-10, 2014 at New York City’s beautiful Frederick P. Rose Theater, the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. This year marks the 13th time in the last 16 years that Clarence Acox has led Garfield to this prestigious event!
Band I is one of just fifteen ensembles from across North America that were chosen to participate in EE 2014. Entries were judged by a panel of prominent jazz educators and musicians and selected through a two-tier blind selection process.
Essentially Ellington is much more than a music competition. It’s a three-day celebration of jazz and jazz education that includes jam sessions, rehearsals, and workshops with pre-eminent clinicians. The competing bands perform for a panel of esteemed adjudicators, including the legendary Wynton Marsalis. The festival culminates in a concert and awards ceremony that features the three top-placing bands as well as a performance by the outstanding Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Western Washington is again well-represented at Essentially Ellington, as the Roosevelt and Mt. Si jazz bands will join Garfield in New York City. Congratulations to all of the selected bands, and especially to Band I and Mr. Acox, as they add to the amazing Bulldog Jazz legacy!!

Garfield Takes Second at Snow-Shortened Bellevue Festival

posted Feb 8, 2014, 9:31 PM by Garfield Jazz Admin   [ updated Feb 8, 2014, 9:38 PM ]

An unexpected snowfall forced the cancellation of the evening’s finalists’ concert, but not before Garfield Jazz Ensemble I was awarded second place at the Bellevue College Big Band Jazz Festival XVIII on February 8. Sixteen high school bands from around the state entertained listeners throughout the day before Garfield was selected as one of the three finalists, along with Mt. Si and Roosevelt, which took first. Garfield's offerings were "Brush Taps," "I Remember Clifford," "Black & Tan Fantasy," and a sizzling rendition of "Caravan."

The three outstanding soloist honors given to Bulldogs--received by Isaac Poole (trombone), Jack Swiggett (piano), and Isak-Washburn-Gaines (clarinet)--were more than went to any other school. (Isak and Jack were also recognized last week at Clark College, and Isak at last year’s Big Band Jazz Festival.) Other featured players were Alice Mar-Abe, Nikhil Wadwha, Adam Ellner, Charlie Feig, Derek Billey, Matthew Thompson, Harald Hyllseth, and Janak Preston.

Unfortunately,the snowflakes brought the festival to an abrupt end, and left the audience wanting more....but fortunately, there is more great jazz to come from our students for the next four months!

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