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Big Opportunities for Pacific Jazz Studies Students in March

Mar 24, 2015

The month of March offers a chance for Pacific's student jazz musicians to showcase their skills on the road, as four student jazz groups from Pacific attend two different west coast jazz festivals.

Two combos from Pacific were invited to the Seattle Jazz Experience festival March 13-14. The Pacific Big Band and Jazz Combo won slots to complete at the New Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey on March 27-29.

"Simply auditioning to get into these festivals, which took hours of recording time on weekends, shows the commitment these students have," says Pacific Director of Jazz Studies Patrick Langham. "They are doing their best and I look forward to continued growth."

The Seattle Jazz Experience is a two-day festival for high school and college jazz students, produced by Cornish College of the Arts, in association with Seattle JazzED, Earshot Jazz, and the Seattle Center. This year one of the Pacific combos took the "Best in Festival" title and as such was featured in the closing concert. Students in this combo were Jimmy Kraft, saxophone and vocalist; Joel Ross, piano and vibraphone; Brian Clark, bass; Jalon Archie, drums.

2015 marks the fifth year Pacific has competed in the Next Generation Jazz Festival. The Next Generation Jazz Festival is presented by the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the winners from this student event get a chance to perform at the 58th annual festival in September. Altogether, 88 bands from 11 states will perform at the Next Generation Jazz Festival. "2015 is the largest gathering of student groups ever at the Next Generation Jazz Festival," said Paul Contos, Monterey Jazz Festival education director. "We are excited to present such an array of talent, from middle school through college-level ensembles."

Professor Langham says that these festivals provide opportunities for Pacific students beyond just traveling to a nice city for a weekend. "Both these festivals have talented professional musicians who perform and participate as adjudicators, so students can really learn from the best," he says. "It's also a chance to hear other college jazz musicians and network with the jazz community."

 Learn more about the Jazz Studies Program at the Conservatory.




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