Come Rain or Come Shine, the 2015 Garfield Jazz Gala was bound to be a terrific show of support for Garfield Jazz, and it was! Thank you to all who attended and invited family, friends and neighbors. And thanks to all the volunteers who took on tasks large and small--decorating tables, registering guests, selling raffle tickets, creating the video and much, much more! We are deeply grateful to all those who donated to the jazz program, whether by providing auction/raffle items or desserts or raising their paddles. Special thanks goes to our crackerjack Gala Chair Asha Wadhwa and to our host for the evening, Jim Wilke. Finally, we extend our appreciation and admiration to the reasons that we all came together--the musicians of Garfield Jazz Ensembles I, II and III and their directors, Clarence Acox and Jacob Zimmerman. Everyone’s generosity helps to keep the Garfield Jazz legacy going strong!
Not all of the Garfield Jazz music was being played in New York last weekend--Jazz Ensembles II and III also represented Garfield at the 32nd annual Bellevue High School Jazz Festival on May 9, along with bands from another 25 Northwest high schools. Under the direction of Jacob Zimmerman, both bands were invited to play in the Festival’s evening public concert and finals competition, with Ensemble II finishing in third place in the AAA division and Ensemble III taking second place in the A/AA division! The judges also recognized Garfield musicians Owen Boxwell (guitar) and Marco Thompson (bass) as outstanding soloists. Congratulations to all of the musicians, and a special thanks goes to Mr. Zimmerman for stepping up to lead Band II in Mr. Acox’s absence.
Garfield Jazz Ensemble I missed out on the overall prize, but came away with honors throughout the band at the 20th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival in New York on May 9.
At the Awards Ceremony, after being treated to a performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Garfield received three "Outstanding Section" honors during the Awards Ceremony--Outstanding Trumpet Section, Outstanding Trombone Section and Outstanding Brass Section. In addition, six musicians received individual recognition as soloists--Nikhil Wadhwa (Outstanding Soloist, Guitar); Fedor Paretsky (Outstanding Soloist, Alto Sax); Tom Renehan (Outstanding Soloist, Flugelhorn); Liya LaPierre (Outstanding Soloist, Bass); Tai Warner (Honorable Mention, Tenor Sax); and Ben Lindenburg (Honorable Mention, Tenor Sax).
These awards followed a terrific performance by the entire band on Saturday morning, in which they played "Braggin’ in Brass," "Chelsea Bridge," and "Launching Pad." The audience that packed Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall was enthusiastic in their appreciation. During his presentation of awards, Wynton Marsalis called out for specific praise the brass section's performance of "Braggin' in Brass" and Liya LaPierre's work on the bass, but as the results indicated, Garfield displayed strength across the board. Other soloists were Michael Dalton (trombone), Harald Hyllseth (trumpet), Nick Lutenko (piano), Patrick Mogan (trumpet), Isaac Poole (trombone) and Janak Preston (drums).
A heartfelt congratulations goes to the winning sections and individuals, and to all of the musicians and Mr. Acox for their participation in a wonderful three-day celebration of excellence in jazz and jazz education. We also congratulate the winners of the overall awards for EE 2015: 1st place--American Music Program (Portland, OR); 2nd place--Tucson Jazz Institute (Tucson, AZ); and 3rd place-- Lexington High School (Lexington, MA).
Auditions for the 2015-16 Garfield Jazz ensembles will be held during the week of August 17, 2015 at Garfield High School (Room 219), beginning each day at 11 am. Students who are not in a Garfield Jazz ensemble may audition on Monday, August 17 or Tuesday, August 18. Current Garfield Jazz band members may audition on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of that week. More details will be posted soon.
Garfield Jazz musicians once again made their mark in Reno, as both Ensemble I and Ensemble II received second-place awards in their respective divisions at the 53rd annual Reno Jazz Festival at the University of Nevada on April 25. Additionally, the judges recognized two Garfield Jazz combos: the first place award in the AA Combo Division went to Garfield Jazz Combo I (Liya LaPierre, Nicholas Lutenco, Tyler Mi, Patrick Mogan, Fedor Paretsky, Isaac Poole, Janak Preston, Nikhil Wadhwa, Tai Warner), and Combo II (Liam Connor, Michael Dalton, Tony Goss, Harald Hyllseth, Daniel Leong, Wyatt Morrison, Blake Tiemann, Sara Wall) grabbed the fifth-place award. Finally, several musicians were included among those honored as the Festival's outstanding soloists: Paul Lawrence (alto sax); Wyatt Morrison (piano); Nikhil Wadhwa (guitar); Owen Boxwell (guitar) Andrew Torgelson (tenor sax); and Yasna Vismale (trumpet). That’s a lot of musical talent for one school, and we are proud of all of our student-musicians for representing Garfield so well! For complete Festival results, click here.
Two Garfield alumni were recognized by Earshot Jazz as part of its 2014 Golden Ear awards that were announced on March 16. Honored as Emerging Artist was Carmen Rothwell, former Garfield Jazz bassist from the Class of 2010, and Evan Flory-Barnes (Class of 1997) was named as the 2014 Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year! Evan is also a bassist, and while at Garfield he was a member of the acclaimed Garfield symphony Orchestra.
Earshot also conferred a special award to Seattle JazzEd for its "significant contribution to jazz education in Seattle.” Both Clarence Acox and Jacob Zimmerman are ensemble directors at JazzEd, which was established by Garfield Jazz parents and works with a number of Garfield Jazz students and alumni. Once again, Mr. Acox and Garfield leave their imprint on the Seattle music community. Congratulations to all!
Both Band I and Band II were among the ensembles selected to be featured in Saturday night’s Young Artists’ Concert in the University of Idaho’s Kibbie Dome at the 2015 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival! Earlier in the day, Band I performed “I Thought About You,” “The Gypsy” and “Hourglass” at the Festival, while Band II offered “Bluff Point,” “Londonderry Air,” and “Easy to Love.” Adding to Garfield’s laurels was guitarist Nikhil Wadhwa, who was chosen to play in the evening’s Hamp’s Club concert. Band I's Fedor Paretskyand Leo Shannon, and Band II's Marco Thompson and Owen Boxwell were also recognized as outstanding soloists. Congratulations to all of the musicians and Mr. Acox!
Garfield Jazz Ensemble 1 will soon be returning to New York City to compete in the 20th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition & Festival!
Garfield was one of just 15 high school-level ensembles from across
North America that were selected to perform in this prestigious event.
Entries were judged by a panel of prominent jazz educators and musicians
through a two-tier blind selection process. See the complete list of competing bands here.
EE2015 will take place May 7-9, 2015 at New York City’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, the home of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.This will mark the fourteenth time in the last 17 years that Mr. Acox
had led his charges to this pinnacle of high school jazz--a truly
remarkable record of sustained excellence!
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. Competing bands perform for a panel of esteemed judges, including the legendary Wynton Marsalis. The festival culminates in a Saturday night concert and awards ceremony that will feature the three top-placing ensembles as well as a performance by music legend Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Congratulations and take a well-earned bow, Band I and Mr. Acox!!
A dark and rainy Saturday night seemed a bit brighter when Garfield Jazz Ensemble I took home first-place honors at the Bellevue College Big Band Jazz Festival XIX on February 7. Competing in a field of fourteen high schools, the band entertained a packed Carlson Theater with its renditions of “I Thought About You,” “The Gypsy,” and “One Morning in May” before closing with a rousing “Cotton Club Stomp.” In the evening finalists concert, where it was joined by Mt. Si (second place) and Roosevelt (third place), Garfield offered the audience “That Old Feeling” and “The Hourglass” before settling in to listen to a performance by the Bellevue College Jazz Ensemble (which includes former Garfield Jazzer Taylor Russell) and trumpeter Scott Wendholt of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. In addition, Fedor Paretsky was recognized as an Outstanding Soloist for his work on the alto sax. Other featured performers included Michael Dalton, Patrick Mogan, Wyatt Morrison, Isaac Poole,Leo Shannon,Nikhil Wadwha, and Tai Warner. Great job, everyone!
We may or may not see any snowflakes in Seattle between now and the end of March, but there will be a flurry of performances by Garfield Jazz ensembles at various events around the Northwest, including some truly venerable ones! On Saturday, Jan. 31, Band I travels to Vancouver (WA) to perform at the 53rd annual Clark College Jazz Festival. As the Sweepstakes Trophy winner in the 2014 festival, Garfield isn’t eligible for the 2015 competition, but will perform as the showcase band on Saturday evening. That will be followed by Band I’s competition at the 19th annual Bellevue College Big Band Jazz Festival on February 7, a journey to Moscow (ID) by Bands I and II for the 48th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho on Feb. 27-Mar. 1, and the performances of Bands II and III at the Kamiak Jazz Invitational in Mukilteo on Mar. 28. These events will provide the bands with the opportunity to perform with before and listen to some of the top high-school jazz bands in the region, and to receive instruction and critiques from esteemed musicians and jazz educators who serve as festival adjudicators.