“Jazz is love, I am Jazz.” – Masa Sakakura.
Smooth tunes and snazzy melodies filled the air last Friday night as guests ate their fill of gourmet food, served by smooth waiters in their black and white suits. Decorative lighting helped set the mood as teachers and students alike took their seats and eagerly waited for the night to begin.
After months of four hour practices, days of frantic decoration and hours of covering the school with posters of the soulful musicians, Jazz Night was both a musical and entertaining success: over 200 guests attended, with tickets selling out within four hours of announcement.
The night first began with the Phoenix Jazz Band and JV Jazz Band, with stunning solos performed by the musicians such as Masayoshi (‘16), Joonyon (‘17), and Jin (‘16) for each song. There were many of those small moments during the performance in Esté Jazz Combo for whenever someone took solos.
Then, the guests took a break from instrumentals to watch the performance of the Vocal Jazz Acapella group, which performed a stunning take of the song “Words” by The Real Group. Soon after, the audience was surprised, yet delighted by a “surprise mystery guest appearance” of the elementary P-bones (short for plastic trombones). As quoted by Mr. Yanuszeski, “The elementary students were amazing- definitely the stars of the show.”
The Esté Jazz Combo stunned the entire crowd with their improv performance. Mr. Tebti, the high school French teacher proclaimed, “Personally, I don’t like jazz, but the improvised play by the Esté Jazz group blew me away.”
Peter Kim (‘15), an Esté Jazz member himself, noted, “Moments when you hear your band member play something insanely good while improvising are the best parts of the night. It’s even better when you and your band members make eye contact and show the ‘I know what you just did’ face”.
This year’s Jazz Night was special, not only in the fact that there were several special guests performing along with the Phoenix and JV Jazz bands, but also in the fact that it was the seniors’ last night of performing together; they have participated in Jazz Night since the very beginning when the former band teacher, Mr. Jay Londgren, created this event four years ago. Jazz Band members, such as Hannah Park (‘16) expressed their grief of seeing the seniors go. “Now that it’s over, I’m kind of bored and sad. I’m sad because all of the seniors will be leaving this year. I will miss them very much.”