Our preparation for EE out in New York includes bringing a bit of EE into our area! Today we were visited by Pharez Whitted, who help us with our preparations for the Essentially Ellington Festival in New York. Pharez stressed the importance of believing in ourselves and each other. He challenged us to find new levels of musical emotion and he provide some great inspiration and direction to get better.
As a part of our clinic experience, we get to share Pharez with a partner school. We were honored to partner with Madison La Follete High School and their director Jamie Kember. Pharez worked with their jazz band on improvisation and provided time for students to ask questions and grow from his expertise as well.
Pharez is a Chicago-based trumpet player and educator. He is the current director of the Chicago Symphony Youth Jazz Orchestra. If you asked Pharez what inspires his music, he’ll say that the world needs hope and beauty and his compositions were created for that purpose. His music is for the people, to lift them up and inspire beautiful thoughts and a harmonious vibe throughout the Universe. One love, one Universal voice.