What a great return to our live Jazz Festival format! This year marked 29 years of the Jazz Festival and we were excited to host bands from Columbus, Fond du Lac, Grafton, Menomonee Falls, Oak Creek Wausau West, West DePere, and Waunakee. Clincicians included Greg Abate - alto saxophone, David Lown - tenor saxophone, Dan Wallach - alto/bari saxophone, Tatum Greenblatt - trumpet, Marty Robinson - trumpet, Darren Sterud - trombone, Reggie Thomas - piano, Rick Haydon - guitar, Laurie Lang - bass, and Jim Huwe - drums.
In addition to the school performances and master classes, the teacher track returned with a demonstration group from Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School.
Jazz I headed back to the Colonial Club after a year of covid-induced hiatus. Students played an hour set for an incredibly appreciative and receptive audience. Due to covid, these kinds of performances could not occur at the colonial club, so this was a very special event for both the audience and performers.
Jazz played a set that included I Let a Song Go Out of My Hear, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Good Morning Blues, Meetin' Time, Again and Again, Chucho, Fly Me to the Moon, and Little Karin. Additionally, the combo performed a mini-set of There Will Never Be Another You, Besume Mucho and It's Only a Paper Moon.
Maybe the best part is that this performance was also met with the return of post-concert snacks at the Colonial Club. Students were able to participate in that along with the audience.
SPHS Jazz I open for the DSJO presentation of Duke Ellington's Nutcracker. The performance was at the historic Garver Feedmill in Madison. The building has been renovated to accommodate a variety of events - including music performances.
Students performed a 30 minute set before the DSJO took the stage. What a great evening to get out, perform for a live audience in a really cool and historic venue!
Ron Carter made is annual trip to Sun Prairie and mentored students in the Sun Prairie Jazz Program. Spending time with the CHUMS Jazz Band, as well as Sun Prairie Jazz I and II and working on the fundamentals of Swing. Professor Carter challenge students to play more emotionally and dig deeper and deeper into the rich history and tradition of this music.
Students responded really well to his passion and saw immediate growth in their playing. We are fortunate to have Ron stop out and continue to work with our groups on a yearly basis. His long-standing friendship with the Sun Prairie Jazz Program continues to help our students grow.