“It’s a night to celebrate our local high schools,” Erin Combs, Starbucks Community Partnerships Manager and announcer of the night, said.
The MTHS Jazz Ensemble 1 (Jazz 1) performed alongside four other high schools with a full house at the Paramount Theater in Seattle for the 23rd annual Hot Java Cool Jazz (HJCJ) concert on Friday, March 30, sponsored by Starbucks and Kennelly Keys. All money raised from ticket sales goes back to the performing bands.
Roosevelt High School won $500 for selling the most tickets to HJCJ at the Starbucks location with which they partnered.
The night started off with Ballard High School (BHS) playing “St. Louis Blues,” which had a strong beginning and an impressive exhibition of skill. Following the high upbeat song came a mellow sentimental song called “Prelude to a Kiss.” Finishing up with a bang, BHS played “A Night in Tunisia,” a fast paced and loud song.
Starting with an unnamed song with strong solos and fast paced music Mount Si High School (MSHS) set the bar high for the night with “I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues,” a slow melody with an award winning vocalist to bring out the song. Finishing with “In a Mellow Tone” MSHS went out with a calm and smooth song.
Third up to the plate was the MTHS Jazz 1, ready to blow away the audience away with a cheerful song that someone would see in a Disney film. The second song played was composed by MTHS’s very own junior percussionist Kieran Faris called “Nagara,” a slow song inspired by Japanese culture with a saxophone solo from Faris himself. MTHS followed up with “Fill in the Blank Blues.” The “blank” in this case for Jazz 1 was the “I-5 Traffic Blues,” showing a slow sentimental rhythm and multiple solos.
To finish off with a strong note, Jazz 1 played a song titled “Tico Tico,” a rapidly paced song with a Hispanic theme to it. The shocker came later in the song when senior guitarist Gian Neri showed off his skills and play his guitar at insane speeds.
This making the crowd go wild and have the first and only standing ovation of the night.
Garfield High School (GHS) performed fourth, playing a Duke Ellington classic, “Night Train,” a slow paced song with a strong theme on train sounds incorporated into the jazz. After playing a couple more songs the GHS band director Clarence Acox said his famous line—“Hasta La Vista, baby”—and walked off the stage.
Roosevelt High School (RHS) began by playing “Vital Frequency,” a smooth song with a sneaky theme to the music. The second song played was “Banquet Scene from Timon of Athens,” an elegant song that had a strong focus on a saxophone solo throughout the song. RHS performed “Everyday I Have the Blues,” with a snazzy tune and humorous lines from a vocalist to finish off the night.