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Since 2005, KNKX's School of Jazz has provided mentorship, learning and performance opportunities to Western Washington middle school, high school and college jazz students. A cornerstone of the station's signature community outreach program, it has directly impacted thousands of jazz students, band directors and professional musicians. School of Jazz is sponsored by Alaska Airlines and BECU.

Edmonds Woodway High School jazz band finishes their year in style in North Bend

Edmonds Woodway H.S. jazz ensemble performs with mentor Jerome Smith on trombone at Boxley's in North Bend.
Brenda Goldstein-Young
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Brenda Goldstein-Young
At Boxley's in North Bend, the Edmonds Woodway H.S. jazz ensemble performs with mentor Jerome Smith on trombone for the KNKX School of Jazz.

The pandemic years have been especially difficult for young jazz musicians, at their best performing shoulder to shoulder in big bands. Under the direction of Jake Bergevin, the Edmonds-Woodway High School jazz band showed few signs of rust in a KNKX School of Jazz performance in North Bend.

Bergevin praised the determination and dedication of this year's band. Proving his point was a talented quartet of Edmonds-Woodway's finest on stage at Boxley's with top brass player Jerome Smith acting as mentor.

Led by the confident senior Talli Kimani on alto saxophone, Smith was joined on the front line by Nick Reinhadt on tenor saxophone, Don Tran on upright bass, and recent School of Jazz guest DJ Max Bartron drumming.

Jerome Smith is a veteran brass player, but a recent arrival to the Seattle area. He came away with a new appreciation for the legacy of Northwest jazz education, in which the Edmonds-Woodway program plays a major role.

The young musicians were finally back together in the band room at EWHS this year and talked about how important the jazz band was to their return to school. As for their prior days in remote learning, Kimani and Bartron both explained how listening to jazz kept him inspired.

The EWHS ensemble played three diverse tunes in the cozy confines of Boxley's and made a massive sound from their smartly arranged quintet.

1. Bolivia (Cedar Walton)
2. Walk the Earth (Jerome Smith)
3. The Theme (Miles Davis)

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